Funsho Ogundipe

 

Funsho Ogundipe is a Nigerian pianist, Music director and composer. He is also a writer and filmmaker. Ogundipe is primarily known for his work with the Afrobeat band Ayetoro. He has also written music for theatre in Ghana.

 

Ogundipe was born in lagos. He has an unusual background in that he studied law at both the University of Ife and the Nigerian law school and then become a stockbroker before eventually heading up the corporate finance department at Prudent Bank a Nigerian Bank which his father S. Olagunju Ogundipe, a Nigerian economist and Writer, founded. But he gave all that up for the love of music. His father then chairman of Prudent Bank, at first objected to this career move, but when none other than Lágbájá sent him a complimentary ticket to watch his son play at the famous Motherland venue in Lagos, he changed his mind. Ogundipe would later serve a Non executive Director in the same bank for four years after his father's death.

 

Ogundipe's music is based on Afrobeat with a jazz core. As bandleader of Ayetoro he works within the Jazz and Afrobeat fields and is respected for both his original Piano style and his compositions which range from straight ahead afrobeat to the avant garde.

 

According to writer Chris May writing for All About Jazz, Ogundipe's Afrobeat, “has been cooked in a slow burning oven and has a wide and enchanting range of tonal colours.”

In an interview for the BBC's Africa on your street website Ogundipe cites Miles Davis, Duke Ellington and Fela Kuti as his major influences as a composer.

 

Robert Fox of the Afrofunk Forum and bass player for the American Afrobeat inspired band Chopteeth rates Ogundipe's composition “Revenge of the Flying Monkeys” as one of the most important post-Fela Kuti compositions.