It's not often that you go looking for a back story of an artist and realize that there is so little information available that it almost seems like the story is being repressed. Mention William Onyeabor around anyone that knows Nigerian music, even the experts, and you'll see head scratching. No one knows much about him other than what is in his music. His albums have been reissued but record labels, journalists, collectors and musicologists trying to fill in the gaps find themselves practically skunked. Even the few that have traveled to Nigeria, tracked him down and actually talked to him, come away with more questions than answers. It is inconceivable to most people that someone would make music, purposefully keep the lowest of low profiles, and not grant interviews, shunning parties, press and publicity altogether. I have my own theory why but I'm keeping my trap shut. I have to see if there's anything out there that disproves it, and with what little info there is and how seldom a new angle comes out, it could take years.
Watch the video linked below and read what little there is online. See if you can figure it out. Let's just say that involves studies in Russia, a return to Nigeria, a failed film business, an unlikely career change, an arsenal of synthesizers, keyboards, and studio equipment rarely seen in Nigeria, and an unknown source of funding. Sounds like some sort of heavy duty caper to me.
~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~Listen:
William Onyeabor - Body and Soul mp3 at Beardo Disco (?)
William Onyeabor - When the Going is Smooth mp3 at 360 Nobs (?)
William Onyeabor - Love Is Blind mp3 at Glitz and Armour (?)
Fantastic Man - A Film About William Onyeabor at YouTube 31 minutes
William Onyeabor at Wikipedia
An Elusive Mystery Man of Music at New York Times
William Onyeabor at Luaka Bop