BREAKING: Iconic highlife music curator, Femi Esho, dies at 77


Lasun Alagbe

Passionate collector and distributor of highlife music, Femi Esho, is dead.

The founder of Evergreen Music passed on on Tuesday, June 17, a few months to his 78th birthday.

The departure was announced by her equally music-loving-and-promoting daughter, Bimbo Esho, on her Facebook page on Tuesday afternoon.

Bimbo, who is the Managing Director of Evergreen Music, ‘My Loving Dad, May your Gentle Soul Rest in Peace.

Esho Baba!”

At a time many other people were focusing attention on newer genres of music, Esho devoted his energy, passion and money to documenting highlife music.

He not only preserved and openly/officially distributed albums of the great maestros through his Lagos-based Evergreen Music, he also never missed any opportunity to celebrate the music legends.

The bearded guru also later expanded his focus, so that all kinds of old music did not escape his eagles’ eyes.

So devoted was he that he once remarked:  “If I was not at any hour recording, I was listening to music of the day or mixing assorted sounds.”

His office and studios in Surulere, which was initially in Shomolu, is a market and museum of works of great artistes that include E.T. Mensah, Zeal Onyia aka Obi of Trumpet, Haruna Isola, Ramblers Dance Band, Dele Ojo and Osita Osadebe.

While others include Osibisa, Eddy Okonta, Roy Chicago, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Julius Arba, Adeolu Akinsanya, Victor Abimbola Olaiya and Ebenezer Obey, Evergreen Music also preserves works of icons like Herbert Ogunde and Olanrewaju Adepoju.

No wonder, tributes have started pouring in for Esho, as seen in the numerous comments on the post in which Bimbo announced her father’s death.

The consolation many stakeholders will have, again, is that Evergreen’s story is that of ‘like father, like daughter’, based on how Bimbo too resourcefully pushes the business.



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