The life and times of Nigeria's first super producer

His biggest break was in 2004 with 2face‘s 'African Queen' setting a yet to be beaten record not just in Nigeria but in Africa.

OJB Jezreel

BabatundeOkungbowa a.k.a OJB Jezreel was born on June 1966. For the prolific producer, music started back in 1986. The artiste started making beats in back room studios, first in his Surulere neighbourhood and later in other parts of the city.

OJB inspired by music made by legendary producers like Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Dallas Austin, LA Reid & Babyface, Teddy Riley and later R.Kelly, he and his friends, Micheal Richman and the three Dairo brothers, Henry, Banji and Paul Play formed a production crew called Playground, House n Effects (PHE) and started making Hip Hop/R&B beats to popular Nigerian artistes at the time.

The singer has been a creative force behind the numerous hits of a countless number of artistes. From Ruggedman, 2Face Idibia, Jazzman Olofin, the late Nomoreloss to Raskie, K-Show & Six-O, C-mion, Abounce, Jafaar, Amah and more.

Over 10million copies in Nigeria alone and 8million copies were sold internationally, this made him the most sort after producer in Nigeria and some regions of Africa. He stamped his presence on the Industry as an artiste with the club banger “Pretete“ and crowned it with a classic love song “Searching”.

OJB sharpened his singing and songwriting skill so much that he learnt how to play the drums, guitar and piano during the same period.

His profile as a producer continued to rise with further credit for work on Baba Dee's hit single 'Governor's Daughter' and Daddy Showkey's sophomore album.

OJB then took the business arm of his game to another level with the signing of a distribution deal with Kennis Music, the record distribution company run by Kenny "Keke" Ogungbe and Dayo "D1" Adeneye. His first assignment was to do an urban make over of ‘Ace’, the classic album by juju music maestro, Sir Shina Peters. The charismatic entertainer also signed a deal with the enterprising duo for the re-release of his 1989 classic.

OJB is survived by three wives, June, Korede, Mabel and eight children.

With an intriguing variety of styles and sounds, OJB Jezreel will forever be remembered as one of the best producers Nigeria ever produced.


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