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Who is William Onyeabor? An enigmatic musician in life and death

24 Jan 2017

Who is William Onyeabor? A Fantastic Man, a subtle activist and a self-producing pioneer who dropped an Atomic Bomb of electronic funk melodies. Such a description fails to justify his mysterious talent.

At 70 years, Mr. Onyeabor died in his home state Coal-City aka Engugu, Nigeria. With his musical highs greatly residing in the years 1977-1985, he self-released nine of his own soulful albums. Albums such as Crashes in Love and Great Lover contained odes of romantic Hypertension for his admired mystery crush.

Nonetheless, he was more than just a musical romantic. His melodies also conveyed subtle messages of activism which called for unification within Nigeria’s government after the Biafra war (1967-70). During this post-war period, music provided an escapism from the destructive political and physical division that the war had caused.

Even in his death, Onyeabor remains a mystery. Quiet in character, he never openly discussed his inspiration behind his music. Many then and now still know very little about his personal affairs. All we have now is his eccentric intelligence – his music.