“It’s a spiritual thing,” Lekan Babalola on the power of jazz (via CNN)

When you think of Nigeria you probably don’t think of jazz, but Grammy award winning musician Lekan Babalola is on a mission to change that perception.

Influenced by his upbringing in a Yoruba community, Babalola’s musical journey started in an unlikely place: his father’s church.
“The influence of my parents is very strong, particularly my father,” Babalola told CNN. “My father was a choir master in this church …My father wanted to play music with so many people for the love of God.”
“Of course, it’s spiritual. The influence is very strong, like Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, Quincy Jones, John Coltrane. A lot of my musical idols, African American, they’re from the church. It’s a spiritual thing.”

Music wasn’t Babalola’s original career choice, but while studying automobile engineering in England, he discovered his true calling—music.

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