BY ADEDIWURA OKELEYE
Renowned Nigerian music producer and songwriter OJB Jezreel (real name- Babatunde Okungbowa) was said to have died early this morning in Isolo General hospital at the age of 49.
A family source claims that his kidney failed completely since last week.
- He was born on July 4, 1966 in Lagos State.
- He is an indigene of Delta state but has traced his roots to Ekiti State.
- He had kidney related issues that he made public in June 2013 and his friends rallied to raise money for his surgery. The late producer underwent surgery in October 2013 for a kidney transplant after one of his wives, Mabel donated one of hers. The surgery was performed in India and went well. He even had a thanksgiving ceremony when he got back to Nigeria. Rumours flew about in 2015 that he had a relapse but he came out to deny them saying he was alive and well.
- OJB Jezreel said at the beginning of his career that he was inspired by music made by legendary producers like Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Dallas Austin, LA Reid & Babyface, Teddy Riley and R.Kelly.
- In the late 80s, he and his friends, Micheal Richman, Henry, Banji and Paul Play Dairo formed a production outfit they called Playground, House n Effects (PHE) and started making Hip Hop/R&B beats for popular Nigerian artistes at the time. The crew got dissolved in the mid 90s because they didn’t get credit and remuneration from the artistes they worked with.
- He established his own studio and production outfit Silverpoint Productions and streamlined his focus to young, emerging artists. Amidst his early hustle, he dropped his debut album, Deep Light in 1999 that didn’t do so well in the market due to lack of effective promotion.
- He started rising to prominence after he worked on Baba Dee’s hit single Governor’s Daughter and one of Daddy Showkey’s albums.
- OJB became a well sought after producer after he produced Tu Face’s African Queen (2004) that broke records in the Nigerian music industry and internationally, selling 10 million copies locally and 8 million internationally.
- He has also worked with RuggedMan, X-Appeal, Jazzman and Oxygen. OJB has a number of well-received songs to his name that include: Jah’s My Lite, Searching, Beautiful As You Are, Pretete, Shitta Anthem, Not Afraid and most recently O Da Be that he released on May 31, 2016.
- He is survived by three wives: June, Mabel and Korede and eight children.
Stephen Keshi, Shaibu Amodu and OJB Jezreel all within 2 weeks. We pray the grim reaper hangs his scythe.