British Christian reggae artist Ben Okafor was born in Nigeria. Experiencing life as a victim of the Nigerian civil war, and even serving temporarily as a child soldier, Okafor was able to relocate to England in the late 70s where he began a career as a reggae artist. His early works were even produced by Bob Lamb (UB40).
Musically, Ben’s music has always had an interesting mix of influences from traditional roots reggae (Ben’s clean guitar playing is noted throughout his lengthy discography) to lovers rock (AKA pop-reggae), but also including folk and world elements–all of which are impacted by his diverse cultural and geographical background.
As you can imagine, his childhood experiences have deeply impacted his worldview and lyrical content. He’s long been an outspoken advocate for justice and peace-making. He’s even had a stint at acting!
With over a dozen releases under his belt, there’s loads of material to choose from. I’ve selected a track from his early EP Downpressor Man. The lead single from the 4-song EP (vinyl copies of which you can often find on eBay or Discogs for a reasonable price) is a Peter Tosh cover, but here we have “20th Century Wailing.” Let me know what you think of it. For further info, check out his website here: http://benokafor.com/