Michael Olatuja


Michael Olatuja’s musical development has taken place across three continents, in the heart of
three of the world’s greatest cities. After a childhood in Lagos absorbing the Yoruba culture of his
Nigerian family, followed by teenage years performing and studying on the booming London jazz
scene, Michael’s talent bloomed when he arrived in New York to study at the Manhattan school.
His unique breadth of talent, grounded in the strong musical traditions of his homeland, has earned
him first-call status across a range of genres from pop to gospel to Broadway to top-flight jazz, and
along the way he’s filled his contacts book with a impressive and eclectic range of talent. For
Lagos Pepper Soup, his second solo release, Michael picked a core band of Terreon Gully,
Aaron Parks and Etienne Stadwijk, and then enlisted the talents of Lionel Loueke, Angelique
Kidjo, Regina Carter, Dianne Reeves, Laura Mvula, Grégoire Maret, Onaje Jefferson, Robert
Mitchell, Becca Stevens, Joe Lovano, and top studio arrangers David Metzger, Joseph
Joubert and Jason Michael Webb to realise his vision of what he calls Cinematic Afrobeat –
“What you hear is a blend of three major cities: it’s a celebration of life, and I wanted to make it
sound like a soundtrack for a movie that hasn’t been made yet – maybe the next Black Panther