By Tony Ogaga Erhariefe
Like most mortals that pass away before their time, singer and music producer, OJB Jezreel had many unfulfilled dreams.
Adasounds, who was on OJB’s management platform until he died, tearfully opened up to TS Weekend, revealing that, aside concluding plans to stage a big comeback into the industry, the deceased was about kick-starting his talent hunt show tagged ‘OJB Next Rated’.
Hear Adasounds: “The last time I saw OJB, he was very strong and did not look like someone who was in a hurry to leave us. He had a lot of plans and was looking forward to fulfilling them.
“I thought it was not true when I heard that he was dead. You never know how painful it could be until you lose someone very close to you. He added value to the youth. He gave me a platform. He was one of those who pushed the new sound we have today. When you look back, there is hardly any musician worth his salt that did not pass through his school. From Daddy Showkey to Jazzman Olofin, Tuface Idibia to Wizkid. It was OJB who produced African Queen, Tuface’s greatest hit to date. So sad he died.”
According to Adasounds, OJB was bothered about the quality of music being churned out today, so he decided to do something about it. “He was very worried about the quality of music out there and challenges young artistes were going through. So, he decided to float a talent hunt show, OJB Next Rated. The idea was to give Nigeria its next super star. It was a project very close to his heart. Now all that is gone forever. All that we can do now is to continue to extol those virtues that he stood for,” she stated.
The singer also revealed that OJB had been working tirelessly since 2013 when he had kidney transplant for a grand return into the music industry.
“A lot of people don’t k now it. OJB had actually wrapped up plans to return to the music industry as a singer. You know, he is one of those few artistes who have successfully combined singing with production. Remember Jah My Life, an album released in 2005, and which was a runaway hit. In fact, On May 31 2016, barely two weeks before his death, OJB had released a brand new single, O Da Be as a build up to the release of a full album. We were both working on a song for his 50th birthday ceremony that supposed to hold on July 4. OJB had over 500 unreleased songs, some of which he planned to start releasing after his birthday. He was also working on setting up OJB Foundation. For him, money was not the first port of call. He was truly set for all these. But now, he is gone. It is a great loss,” Adasounds lamented.
Once upon a time
In a career spanning over 20 years, OJB has influenced generations of musicians. He worked with Daddy Showkey, Ruggedman, Jazzman Olofin, Tuface Idibia, Nomoreloss, Raskie and Wizkid among a host of others. He was the production brain behind Tuface Idibia’s debut album, Face 2 Face, with the hit single, African Queen, which sold over 10 million copies. His studio, Star Point, was a second home to lots of Nigerian artistes in the early days of the Afro hip hop revolution.
Inspired by music legends like Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, LA Reid, Babyface and Ted Riley, music began for OJB in 1986 when he and a couple of friends including Paul Play Dairo started Playground Entertainment. In 2005, he took the game to a new level when he released Jah My Life, a work that established him as a successful singer and producer.