ANDY SHURMAN; Kinky Reggaeman returns

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…Says: ‘I’m back to revive reggae music in Nigeria’

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By BENJAMIN NJOKU

His name might not ring a bell for those who are not in tune with the Afro reggae music in Nigeria, but his songs definitely do. Perhaps, if you can’t acquaint yourself with the name, Andy Shurman, you will definitely remember the song, “ Kinky Reggaeman’ which ruled the Nigerian airwaves in the 80s. The song is still enjoying airplay till date.

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Andy Shurman is one of Nigeria’s finest reggae stars who dominated the airwaves in the 80s with his debut album, “ Save the Masses” released in 1989 and contained such tracks as “ Kinky Reggaeman”, “Tabefaction”, “Oladi”, Judgment Day”, “Let them Rise”, “My Creator,” “No Train” and Fight Them Back.” He left the shores of this country when the ovation was loudest, and after sojourning in the United States, Canada and Germany for close to a decade, the self-acclaimed advocate of the masses returned home last year to claim his spot once more.

Shurman has been working underground since he returned to the country, and he’s due to drop his latest album titled, “Stop the Oppressors.”

Being his comeback album, “Stop the Oppressors” which he will be releasing under his new label, Draft Music, is in furtherance of his protest music. Draft Music is a foreign company collaborating with Andy Shurman’s outfit, Swanini Music to revive the dying reggae music in Nigeria.

In a recent interview with us in Owerri, Andy Shurman, denied abandoning music for business. He said while he was away, he was still playing music. “I have never done any other business in life apart from music,” he maintained.

The reggae star, said he was disappointed with the country not because he was no longer preaching the gospel of reggae music but simply because “we have derailed as a country from the dreams of our forefathers, which had nothing to do with killing of innocent people, marginalization and corruption in high places.”

Shurman, who held sway in the country’s reggae music scene in the 80s alongside late Ras Kimono, the Mandators, Majek Fashek, Orits Wiliki among other reggae legends, said he decided to return home because of the fact that Nigerians need music of reality to confront the dicey situation they found themselves. “They also need to hear the truth and reggae musicians are like prophets. We tell the government nothing but the truth,” he enthused.

While describing himself as the ‘advocate of the masses’, Andy Shurman said he is coming back to fight against the prevailing social injustice in the land using his music as a weapon. “I have said it from the beginning that I would always speak the truth. I have neither gun nor knife. My music is my weapon. Through my music, I will fight for freedom. I will fight for what is right as a prophet of this generation. I will make sure that we are dishing out great philosophical and provocative songs,” he said.

Andy Shurman is best known for his evergreen album, “Save the Masses” which was released at a time when the country was at a crossroad. The song, described as the greatest protest song ever written in the history of reggae movement in Nigeria soared to number one in the top ten charts within and outside the country and remained there for nine months. His second track “Kinky Reggaeman” which later became a national anthem at a time, was the song that launched Andy Shurman into the mainstream reggae world.

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Reports had it then that two weeks after releasing “Save the Masses” into the market, Shurman’s record label then, Tabansi Music, announced that the album had sold over 50,000 copies with paper facts to back up their claims. This, however, caused the demand for the album to soar, just as the song later became a national anthem. But while the ovation was still loud, Andy Shurman, disappeared into thin air.

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