SONG OF THE DAY Mary Afi Usuah – Ima Mma Uyem


A truly powerful woman of funk, soul and afrolife, Mari Affiong Usuah hailed from Oron town, by way of Calabar in southeastern Nigeria.  With a voice that carries itself over many genre borders, she was trained as an opera singer at St Cecilia Academy in Rome, after which she spent 13 years touring Europe with artists such as Duke Ellington and Deep Purple!

Her strong and most vocal skills were the perfect match for Robert Plant when she performed with Led Zeppelin and when she eventually returned to Lagos, Nigeria she blew away even the top names on the scene!   Mary Afi Usuah only released two albums in the mid-1970’s, but she is undeniably one of the finest female singers the African continent has produced and through a blend of gospel, soul, funk, jazz and rock her sound is nothing short of impressive and captivating.

AIma Mma Uyem is a stunning, souful and invigoratingly rhythmic Afrobeat delight which appeared on her 1975 debut album, Ekpenyong Abasi.  Alongside the jubilant crescendoing horns, Usuah’s vocals effortlessly soar as they lead the response of melodic backing vocals and this ear feast is a true beauty! Listen above.

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This entry was posted in Afro beat, Funk, gospel, Highlife, Jazz, Soul and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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