Tag Archives: juju girl

AfroQueen of the LapSteel Guitar?

Lap Steel

Lap Steel

Lap Steel

Lap Steel

Lap Steel

Lap Steel

Lap Steel

Lap Steel Guitar

Lap steel guitar
The lap steel guitar is a type of steel guitar which is typically played with the instrument in a horizontal position on the performer’s lap or otherwise supported. The performer changes pitch by pressing a metal or glass bar against the strings as opposed to a traditional guitar where the performer’s fingertips press the strings against frets. The bar placed against the strings is called a “steel” or “tone bar”. – Wiki

My name is Tosinger. I am a Nigerian singer/songwriter based in Atlanta, Georgia.

I believe I will be the first Nigerian female artist to learn, write songs and perform with the Lap Steel Guitar otherwise known as the Hawaiian Guitar.  Please let me know of any contentions in the comment section. I am writing this post just to register it on the blogosphere,  internet and digital world.

I did not pick up this instrument to be a first of anything. I already could play some other instruments on the basic level including the talking drum, acoustic guitar and keyboard by ear. I picked it because I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT. I have always love the sound of it in Nigerian Juju music as made popular by King Sunny Ade. Read more about it here as to how and who started playing it in Lagos, Nigeria. I felt one with it and at  home with it. It is said to be more challenging but I find it more comfortable for me, even more so than the acoustic. Before my legendary beloved musical Papa Majek Fashek passed, he made me promise him that I will pick up the guitar and focus on it as my main instrument. I will fulfill this promise in his memory.

Lap steel is widely used in American folk, country, western and blues music. Here is a list of only five female country music players, all white, that I could find on the web that play the lap steel.  I googled “female lap steel guitarists” and didn’t see a single black woman.  Googled some more and this article showed a more diverse list, albeit very inspiring pioneers, still no Black/African (See link -> https://sheshreds.com/issue-13-history-steel-guitar/#comment-48321) even no mention of those from the sacred steel music tradition.  I do not see them on the mainstream scene. There are many other types of guitars and numerous wonderful female players but not of the lap steel, which may be considered obsolete but not on my watch.

I pay homage to Sister Rosetta Tharpe  the Godmother of RocknRoll  considered the first  black female guitarist and Peggy Jones aka Lady Bo  the Queen Mother of Guitar, one of the first (perhaps the first) female rock guitarists in a highly visible rock band, Bo Diddley’s band (Wiki)

See the source image

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Big ups to Fatoumata Diawara on the electric and Helen Ibe also representing Africa nicely on her guitar with the younger afrobeats millenial generation.

See the source image

I documented my growing journey via Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and Twitter with albeit amateur mobile videos, days 1-30. I am 43 as at 2020 when I focused on the lap steel.  I challenged to touch it for 30 days consecutively, even after 30 days, a day will  not go by (until the day that I leave this earth) that I will not touch the lap steel except for absolutely unavoidable reasons.

I hope to bless the world with new songs written on it and play and perform and warm hearts with it as long as I do music. So help me God.

Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk 🙂 . Check out my home on the web at http://www.tosinger.com for more about me and my music.

Love, Peace and Beautiful Music,

Tosinger

MY FIRST LAP STEEL GUITAR

MY FIRST BABY, MY FIRST LAP STEEL GUITAR. I CHOSE THE COLOR RED  BECAUSE I WANTED TO FEEL EMPOWERED AS I LEARN IT.

Update

So I continue to dig deeper, haven’t found an African/Nigerian yet, but I found this African American sister, Nikki Brown, and I daresay there might be  more in the church that play the type of lap steel called “Sacred Steel” of the Sacred Steel tradition of COGIC.

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT : New Music + Short Film by @BlitzAmbassador Out in April

Juju Girl is a Short Film/Music Video set in 1960s Ghana  from the latest project titled D I A S P O R A D I C A L the EP by the eclectic Afrocentric hip hop artist, Blitz the Ambassador coming out this April.  I have for a while now, admired Blitz’s brand and music and the way he so effortlessly fuses and delivers his talent in a musically  idiosyncratic manner. You can tell he knows and cares not just about the chops but also the message.  Lyrically and musically on point. Excellence. And his passion for the continent is infectious. Tops in my books. Here’s two of my favorites from him.

About Blitz 

Blitz is the conveyor of the Afrotronic-hop. A hip hop ambassador of African culture in the diaspora.

Samuel Bazawule known by the stage name Blitz the Ambassador, is a Ghanaian-American hip-hop artist and visual artist based in Brooklyn, USA. Samuel Bazawule was born in Accra, Ghana in April 1982. He is the third of four children and attended the renowned Achimota School. While in school he amassed awards for his visual art, but later developed an obsession with hip hop music after hearing his older brother play the classic Public Enemy album It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. Drawing on his love for history and social observation, he began to research and write historically-loaded rhymes for which he became famous in school.

Blitz (as he had come to be known) was first recognized by Ghanaian Ace producer Hammer of The Last Two. Blitz was asked to come to the studio the next day after delivering an impressive eight bars upon meeting Hammer, who wasted no time in putting him on wax. He recorded a verse on the song Deeba and – in the fashion of one of his idols, Nas, gained instant notoriety and received an award for best new artist at the 2000 Ghana Music Awards. Soon after, in 2001, he moved to the USA to study at Kent State University in Ohio. It was while studying for his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration that he developed his skills as a live artist, performing at several live shows and opening for iconic rappers such as Rakim as well as recording a self-released album, Soul Rebel (2004), under the moniker Blitz.

After graduation, Blitz moved to New York City to pursue his dream. In NYC, Blitz recorded another album, Double Consciousness (2005), discography after this includes 2009: StereoLive EP and in 2013: The Warm Up EP. Studio Albums: 2009: Stereotype, 2011: Native Sun, 2014: Afropolitan Dreams and more recently a 2015: Diasporadical EP. Drawing from his diverse musical background, he immersed himself in the project with explicit intent of changing Hip Hop forever. …via wiki

Blitz the Ambassador live in Switzerland (Full Show)

With a vision that embraces his personal West African past and a revolutionary future of Afropolitan cross-pollination, Blitz the Ambassador meshes African popular sounds, American vintage soul, and hard-hitting beats and lyrics with the help of an international cast of collaborators, including the elegant Angelique Kidjo and Afrobeat firebrand Seun Kuti.
But as always with Blitz, the album is about far more than the music. It’s about the Immigrants who made America, who shaped and molded it. Each person, each generation, each bearer of culture arriving on a boat or airplane has made an impression. Immigration is the chain that links the past to the present, the near to the seemingly far…Via his site for more info. 

#JujuGirl shots + storyboards. #Ghana1960s #BlitzTheAmbassador

Stay tuned for more news on the forthcoming Diasporadical EP (released on Jakarta Records) on Blitz The Ambassador’s page.

Beautifully Dreaming…Positively Doing..

Tosinger