Wednesday, February 15, 2012

MAJEK FASHEK: The Reggae-Crooner

Majek Fashek,
an Edo State born Nigerian reggae-crooner is a bundle of talents. He plays many
musical instruments, but he is very popular as a guitarist. Members of his defunct
band “JASTIX” including Amos McCroy Jegg, George O’Well and Black were very
popular reggae instrumentalists and studio session musicians in Lagos in the
1980s. Unfortunately, JASTIX Band as popular as they were then could not record
any album of their own due to disappointments they suffered from music
producers and record companies, especially the defunct JAPEX Records.
Majek Fashek is man of destiny. He was employed by the Tabansi Records as an
artiste promotion manager and before long he mesmerized the company’s
management with his style of singing and a voice very close to that of the late
reggae legend Bob Marley. The proprietor of the company late Chief G.A.D.
Tabansi signed him on to record an album for the label. The then magic finger,
Lemmy Jackson was hired by the company to produce the record. The album titled
“PRISONER OF CONSCIENCE” was released in 1987 and it became an instant hit. One
of the nine tracks in the album “Send Down The Rain” became a sort of a
national anthem in Nigeria in the late 1980s.
Upon the
fortune and fame that this debut reggae album brought to both Majek and the
Tabansi Records, the business soon turned sore and there was a long press war
between the artiste and the company which culminated in Majek Fashek’s switch
over to another record label, CBS Records.
He recorded
two albums for the CBS Records but none of them was successful as his debut.
With his dwindling fortune and fame, he joined the Golden Fleece to America. He
recorded some songs in the United States of America but was not able to break-even
or penetrate the American market. The press did not help matters; he was given
very negative publicity. Many reported his drug related problems and some even
reported that he ran mad and was repatriated back to Nigeria to be treated and
rehabilitated in a church!
However, the
reggae-crooner is back to Nigeria and an entertainment outfit “A-Plus Global
Entertainment” is currently repackaging him. Soon Majek Fashek will stage a comeback
with a ten track album likely to be titled “JAH REVELATION” Will the rainmaker
rule the Nigerian airwaves again as he did in the late 80s and early 90s? Time
will tell!
Emeka E.

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