Zurich Jazz Talks #23

We talk to the British-Nigerian vocalist and songwriter Ola Onabulé about topics such as musical roots, intercultural bridges, interpersonal connections through music and political attitudes in art. Other topics include his music, his personal composition and arrangement process, his experience of hearing his own music in a big band and the idea of turning his music into a musical in the future.

Ola Onabulé never finds it tiring to explain his music, as he himself is always in a phase of discovery. He has experienced various musical journeys: he was born in London with West African roots, spent his childhood in Nigeria and grew up with the music of the 1960s. He then came into contact with jazz at university. Ola Onabulé’s musical palette is as colorful as it can be. Nevertheless, he does not see himself primarily as a musical bridge builder between West African and Western cultures, but as a human one: “I think that the most important connection is just any human connection.”