Ghana-based Cameroonian chromatic xylophone virtuoso, Obase-Aboli Namolongo is a contemporary pan-African singer, songwriter, composer and entertainer brandishing his soothing traditional percussion instrument, the “Double 22 keys”.
He started out from childhood, although he was more of a footballer than a singer, according to the artist, “Unlike a lot of musicians, I was not born into a family of music makers.” Obase-Aboli, as he is popularly called, attended Bishop Rogan Minor Seminary in Buea, Southwest Region of Cameroon where he was introduced to the arts and classical music.
In his fourth year, he discovered the xylophone and became obsessed with the musical instrument. In a short period, Obase-Aboli became the number one xylophonist in the school and music prefect for the remaining part of his studies. It was during this time he composed his first classical piece and got his first musical award for best conductor in an all catholic schools choral competition in the region.
While at the university of Buea, Obase-Aboli expanded his choral/classical music prowess and acted as music director for several choirs. Apart from the xylophone, he plays the acoustic guitar, piano, the Atentebe and other African percussion instruments.
Obase-Aboli has worked with Salif Keita, Lassana Diabate, Les Ambasadeur du Hotel Bamako, the Kronos Quartet, Just a Band from Kenya, Amboley Jedu Blay, Bessa Simons, Aka Blay from Ghana and several other artists. He revealed to eyesofalagosboy.com, “Music has been and is even more at this time a great tool for change in our continent and the world at large. Our music is the new gold and oil business of Africa. Above all, it is one thing that we have as a continent that can never be taken from us. Let’s cherish it and treat it as such.”
In 2015 Obase-Aboli moved to Abu Dhabi where he got the opportunity to take an introductory course in Jazz at the New York University Abu Dhabi. This started a new affair and interest in jazz music in which he immersed himself. He was a member of the Blue Fever Jazz A Capella and the Abu Dhabi National Symphony Orchestra. During Obase-Aboli’s time in Abu Dhabi, he was also invited to play percussion at the 2015 National Autism Day. He plays jazz along side several genres of music from the African continent including Amekoko, Makosa, Agbadja, Rhumba and many more.
Obase-Aboli’s ambition to exploit African rhythms took him to Ghana in 2016 where he has been experimenting with Ghanaian highlife and other African genres of music. He said, “I chose Ghana after reading that Fela Kuti spent some time there.” He would also like to work with Femi Kuti, Richard Bona, Lionel Loueke, Petit Pays, Charlotte Dipanda and Yemi Alade.
On coping with COVID-19 which has negatively affected lives this year, Obase-Aboli has this to say, “Aside music, I have always kept a job. Right now I work as a marketing manager for a communications outfit. I have a background in aviation, sociology and anthropology. Plus teaching piano, percussion and xylophone.”
In May 2017,Obase-Aboli released his first album titled Etapo. ‘Elaka Oboso’ (Move on), released last August, is the third single this year to his second upcoming album, Ujhasuma Africa slated to be released mid 2021.
Very proud of the greater strides you’ve made this far buddy. Indeed, far back in BIROCOL where our paths met, I recall how you passionately championed choral music and impressed us all in sports. Personally I’m not very surprised you’re making spotlights in the area of music, but I’m quite fascinated by your unique choice of instrument: the xylophone.
May Heaven lead you the right people, feed you with wonderful inspiration and reward your efforts bountifully.
Ad majored Dei gloriam!
Thanks proff. Such a nostalgic comment.
Honestly, I’m astounded not just at your work rate & high positive energy that you release day-in, day-out but on how consistent you have been over the years,… I’ve hardly spent time with you but a few words of advice from you have given me an extra edge & I’m proud knowing you Big brother.. I can’t wish you anything short of more success.. Even the sky is too small to be your limit
Obase-Aboli is a dynamic artist. His music brings out the life in the listener. We couldn’t ask for more from this African son!
Thank you brother. I appreciate
Ecce Obase-Aboli : Homo Talentum par excellence. Keep stamping the face of Africa to the globe.
The fineness of your instrumental quest and skills will keep resounding and reverberating our true African identity in song. Keep soaring and bring us pride.
The face of Africa!!!
it is a strange feeling. a blend of a blessing, accomplishment and expectation. may He sanctify your work.
God gives talents to people and some choose not to use it. But growing up you loved music so much and I’m happy you decided to explore your talents so that you will stand before God with no talent left cos you’ve used it well 😂.
Thanks for blessing Africa with your music. You will be acknowledged for your good work always
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