British-Nigerian Lighthouse Family lead vocalist Tunde Baiyewu reveals how being Yoruba influences his songs

British-Nigerian Lighthouse Family lead vocalist Tunde Baiyewu reveals how being Yoruba influences his songs

- Tunde Baiyewu is a British-born with Nigerian root

- Tunde in 1993 formed a music duo with his university friend Paul Tucker and together they formed Lighthouse Family

- The lead vocalist of the duo, Tunde, had a stint stay in Nigeria after his father died at 42, this helped his know more about the Yoruba culture which has in turn influence his songs in the UK

Nigerians have always been at the forefront of every profession they chose to be in. No wonder lead vocalist of popular British musical duo Lighthouse, Tunde Baiyewu and his Briton partner Paul Tucker.

Though Baiyewu was born and brought up in Willesden Green, north London, he is firmly in touch with his root and its culture.

After the untimely death of his father at 42, his mum relocated the family to Nigeria. His homecoming introduced him to the Yoruba culture and the music of the likes of Fela Kuti, Sunny Ade and Ebenezer Obey.

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Years after relocating to UK, Bayeiwu formed a music duo with Briton, Paul Tucker, who is a born and bred Briton where Afrobeats and juju music are alien in 1993 after meeting in the university and working in the same bar.

Together, Tunde and Paul formed what is now popularly known as the Lighthouse family, while the Nigerian is the vocalist, Tucker is a keyboardist. Their debut album, Ocean Drive, was released in 1995 and it sold over 1.8 million copies in the UK alone.

Despite being in the UK for decades, Baiyewu still insists he is a Nigerian and this also reflect in his type of music. He saw no reason why he should shy away from his Yoruba root especially since it assists his creativity. He said:

“A lot of our melodies – I do melodies for most of our songs – come out of the Yoruba language which I speak. There is a certain rhythm to the Yoruba language.”

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Some of Lighthouse Family’s songs influenced by Yoruba include High, Anaesthetics.

Baiyewu’s introduction to the Yoruba culture earlier in life is instrumental to his outlook on music and the creation of melodies for Lighthouse Family songs.

Lighthouse family’s other songs include Ocean Drive, Postcards from Heaven, Whatever Gets You Through the Day and Blue Sky in Your Head.

Baiyewu's mum later remarried former president Olusegun Obasanjo, thus making him th singer's stepfather. He is married to a British-Nigerian lady, Tope Adeshina.

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