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IK Dairo

IK Dairo
Artist Name
I.K Dairo
Born Date
October 16, 2014
Birth Place
Nigeria
Genres
Highlife

IK Dairo  

I.K. Dairo was born in the town of Offa, located in present day Kwara State; his family was originally from Ijebu-Ijesa before migrating to Offa. He attended a Christian Missionary primary school in Offa, however, he later quit his studies due to a lean year in his family’s finances. He left Offa and traveled to Ijebu-Ijesa where he chose to work as a barber. On his journey, he took along with him a drum built by his father when he was seven years old. By the time he was residing in Ijebu Ijesa, he was already an avid fan of drumming. When he was unoccupied with work, he spent time listening to the early pioneers of jùjú music in the area and experimented with drumming. His interest in jùjú music increased over time, and in 1942, he joined a band led by Taiwo Igese but within a few years, the band broke up. In 1948, he went to Ede, a town in present day Osun State where he started work there as a pedestrian cloth trader and played music with a local group on the side. One day, while his boss was away traveling, I.K. Dairo decided to join his fellow friends to play at a local ceremony, unknowing to him, his boss was coming back that same day, the boss was furious with the act and he was relieved of his job as a result.

IK Dairo later pursued various manual tasks after his firing and was able to save enough money to move to Ibadan, where Daniel Ojoge, a pioneer Jùjú musician usually played. He got a break to join a band with Daniel Ojoge and played for a brief period of time before returning to Ijebu-Ijesa, most the of the gigs he plays with Ojoge’s band were at nights.

I.K. Dairo’s musical career entered the fast lane when he founded a ten piece band called the Morning Star Orchestra in 1957. In 1960, during the celebration of Nigeria’s independence, the band was called on to play at a party hosted by a popular Ibadan based magistrate. With a lot of prominent Yoruba patrons at the venue, I.K. Dairo showcased his style of jùjú music and earned attention and admiration from other Yoruba patrons present, many of whom later invited him to gigs during cultural celebrations or just lavish parties. In the early 1960s, he changed the band’s name to Blue Spots and he also won a competition televised in Western Nigeria to showcase the various talents in jùjú music. During the period, he was able to form his own record label in collaboration with Haruna Ishola and achieved critical and popular acclaim and fame.

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