Babatunde Jezreel Okungbowa a.k.a. OJB Jezreel passed away this morning after a long and arduous battle with kidney disease. The prolific producer and singer was a backbone for many in the Nigerian music industry. His songs and beats resonated across a massive audience and his impact was phenomenal. Here are 8 things you need to know about him:
1. OJB Jezreel was born in June 1966. He hails from Agbor, Delta State.
2. His foray into music started as far back as 1986. His first attempt at making music was coming up with beats in back room studios, first in his Surulere neighbourhood and later in other parts of the city.
3. Jigga, as he is fondly referred to by his Gbaja Street friends has been the creative force behind the numerous hits of a countless number of artistes from Ruggedman, 2Face Idibia, Jazzman Olofin, Nomoreloss to Raskie, K-Show & Six-O, C-mion, Abounce, Jafaar, Amah, Funke, and many more.
4. He and his friends, Micheal Richman and the three Dairo brothers, Henry, Banji and Paul Play founded a production crew called Playground, House n Effects (PHE). They made Hip Hop/R&B beats to popular Nigerian artistes at the time.
5. His career peaked in 2004 when he helped produce 2face‘s ‘African Queen‘ which was a global sensation still yet to be rivalled in success. He also produced a number of tracks of 2Face’s album, Grass 2 Grace. He also lent his vocals on club banger “Pretete“ and also the classic love song “Searching”.
6. OJB was a multi-talented musician. He was a singer and songwriter, and also a producer who could play the drums, guitar and piano.
7. He signed a distribution deal with Kennis Music, the record distribution company run by Kenny “Keke” Ogungbe and Dayo “D1” Adeneye and did an urban make over of ‘Ace’, the classic album by juju music maestro, Sir Shina Peters.
8. He is survived by three wives, June, Korede, Mabel and eight children. He has three kids with his first wife Mabel, three with his second, June ‘Ama’ and two with his third, Korede.