Google Doodle celebrates the 74th birthday of Nigerian guitarist Oliver De Coque, one of Africa’s most prolific recording artists (Highlife King of Africa), on April 14, 2021.
Who was Oliver De Coque?
King (Dr.) Chief Oliver De Coque is otherwise called Oliver Sunday Akanite delegated the “Highlife King of Africa,” he is broadly respected as one of the continent’s most prolific recording artists.
Born on April 14, 1947, in the small town of Ezinifite in southeastern Nigeria, Oliver Sunday Akanite initially took up the guitar at a youthful age, and as a teenager, contemplated the traditional Igbo music of the region and Congolese soukous.
Playing music since the age of 11, Oliver De Coque was taught to play the guitar by Piccolo, a Congolese guitarist living in Nigeria. Serving an apprenticeship with juju stars Sunny Agaga and Jacob Oluwale, he was a star by his late youngsters.
In 1970, at a performance by the well-known Sunny Agaga and his Lucky Star Band, Akanite persuaded Sunny to allow him to remain in as their guitarist; he was recruited on the spot, giving an enormous lift to his young career. Likewise, a gifted player of the Nigerian board game okwe, Akanite got known as “Oliver de ka Okwe,” which he later adapted into his stage name, Oliver de Coque.
Oliver De Coque broadly implanted the modern West African highlife genre with a Congolese-impacted guitar style and the vigorous dance elements of Igbo music he grew up with, creating an extraordinary musical style.
Since releasing Oliver De Coque’s debut album Messiah in 1977, Coque had recorded no less than 93 albums in his country.
His dance-inspiring “Ogene” style of Nigerian high life, which mixes modern high life and traditional Igbo music, has produced such hits as “People’s Club of Nigeria”, “nempi social club”, “Biri Ka Mbiri,” “Ana Enwe,” “Nnukwu Mmanwu,” and “Identity,” which stayed on Radio Nigeria 2’s Top Ten all through most of 1981.
Starting with Oliver De Coque’s first solo release in 1976, de Coque’s music just filled in prominence at home and abroad, as he put out a great many albums including his awesome guitar work and new interpretation of African pop more than 70 all through his lifetime.
In 1994, in acknowledgment of his massive music achievement, Oliver De Coque was awarded an honorary doctorate in music by the University of New Orleans.
Oliver de Coque died at the age of 61 on June 20, 2008.
Oliver De Coque is likewise considered the most flamboyant Igbo musician. Attracting international consideration with a London performance in 1973, he played on Prince Nico Mbarga’s album Sweet Mother four years later.
On April 14, 2021, Google observes Oliver De Coque’s 74th Birthday with Google Doodle. Lagos-based guest artist Ohab TBJ represents the Google doodle.