Later known as Soul Brother Number One in Nigeria, Joni Haastrup was a bandleader and (striking) vocalist born in Nigeria to a Yoruban King. An early pioneer of the Afrofunk scene, he earned this title in 1966 after singing on Orlando Julius Ekemode & his Modern Aces’ 1971 Afro-Beat album, Super Afro Soul. Later, in 1971, Haastrup got an unexpected break when Ginger Baker invited him to join him on tour as part of the Air Force band and further shows as part of the SALT project. This opportunity gave Haastrup a taste for the big time and as soon as he returned to Nigeria, he formed his own band, MonoMono. Their debut album, released in 1973, was called Give The Beggar a Chance and was one of two albums plus a handful of singles put out by the band. By 1975/76 the MonoMono’s had split and in 1978 Joni Haastrup released his one and only solo album, Wake Up Your Mind.
Greetings appears on this solo album and unleashes the dazzling vocal prowess that Haastrup was so celebrated for. Accompanied by some furiously vibrant funk melodies, this track even strays into the vivid highs of disco funk, forging an unexpected bridge between these two genres. It’s a truly uplifting six minutes!!
**Extra bonus alert** I’ve also just found a really cool (and only recently discovered) stripped-down, raw demo version of this song taken from outtake of some 1978 sessions entitled, Imokiraria! Check this out below!