The Nigerian music industry has been blessed with amazing music groups; the likes of Plantation Boys, The Remedies, Styl Plus, P-Square, KC Presh, Maintain, Infinity, Resonance and more.
However, KUSH stands out as the first contemporary music group that was purely inspiration.
The group was founded in 1999 by TY Bello, Lara George, Emem Emmaand Dapo Torimiro. They met at a campus fellowship and formed a group after discovering that they had similar interests.
Their first and only album was released in 2002 by DKG Music, titled The Experience’. Their style of music was a radical departure from what obtained on the Nigerian Gospel Music scene. The combination of Lara’s sultry voice, TY’s sassy hairstyle and Emem’s multilingual rap lyrics made for an interesting mix. Dapo was soon to drop out of the group, leaving the trio of Emem, TY and Lara to carry on.
Their music could be described as something close to R n B, with Nigerian content. It was strange to see a female rapper, or a brother with braids. In fact, rap in gospel music was a controversial topic, but Kush was a gospel group with an international in outlook, and still Nigerian enough not to be waved off as an African-American initiative.
The group had to pull through the difficult terrain of the Nigerian music industry prevalent in the early 2000s and had to pursue their individual careers to earn a living. They split up in 2004, and each member went on to excel in their various careers.
TY Bello has become a celebrated portrait photographer, and has continued to make amazing music. Some of her hits include Green Land and The Future is Here.
Lara George at first combined her job with a Lekki ICT firm with music, until her debut album drew her back into full-time music. She won multiple awards with the album, especially with the song Ijoba Orun.
Emem won the British Council’s music entrepreneur award in 2006. She founded Vzhun Media and One Management Services, and is one of the most sort-after talent managers in the country, with an impressive clientele list including Mr P (of P-Square).
Dapo is a music producer in the US and runs his own production outfit.
The group was pulled together about three years ago for a remix of one of their most popular songs, Live Together. The remix featured Flavour and was used as the soundtrack for the movie based on Chimamanda Adichie’s book of the same name,Half Of a Yellow Sun.
Here are some Kush songs for your enjoyment:
Akwaowo Willie is a social media consultant for several businesses including SMEs and Startups. He is also an entrepreneur and writer with interests in entertainment, media, fashion, among others. He is married, with 2 adorable children.
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