Segun Bucknor is widely considered to be one of the unsung heroes of the post-war Nigerian music scene and is considered in some quarters as one of the few artistes that could be mentioned alongside the late great Fela Kuti as a respected contemporary. He is also one of the founders of Afrobeat music but was mainly known for his combination of African Soul music and American psychedelic elements to create some of the most powerful music of the late 60’s up until the early 80’s.
He was born in 1946 to a well-regarded family of musicians – his cousin Wole was a member of Felas first band The Koola Lobitos – he started his foray into music as a student at Kings College Lagos, when he sang in the choir and by the age of 15, he had recorded an played with the renowned highlife bandleader Roy Chicago’s Rhythm Dandies dance band. in 1965, he left Nigeria to study liberal arts and ethnomusicology at New York’s Columbia University, and it was during this period he immersed himself in the vibrant Soul, Jazz and Blues scenes which were not yet popular in Nigeria at the time. By the time his 3 year sojourn was over, he had begun developing his style of Afro-soul/Afro-funk which he would bring back home and utilize to create timeless music.
Upon his return to Nigeria, he joined the vibrant music scene that already comprised of The Funkees, The Hykers, The Strangers and a host of other bands that were already composing Soul Music and gradually his music metamorphosed to a more organic African expression of Soul music which he performed for the most part of his career.
Today on Retro Sounds, we dig into the digital crates to revisit one of his most recognizable records Poor Man No Get Brother, a satirical and cautionary mid-tempo groove that accentuates his vocal prowess. He passed away on the 11th of August 2017 and is survived by his wife Sola Bucknor and daughters, media personality Tosin Bucknor and businesswoman Funke Bucknor-Obruthe