Oritsefemi Majemite Ekele a.k.a Oritse Femi is a musician, songwriter and stage performer. Commonly known for his astounding talent, he is proudly regarded by friends and family alike as the “Musical Taliban.”
Oritse Femi was born to an enormous polygamous family of 25 in Ajegunle, Lagos State. He is the third child from his mother’s hut and hails originally from the Itsekiri tribe of North Warri, Delta State. Oritse Femi did his primary education at Tolu Primary School; and later moved to Mayday Secondary School for his secondary education; but could not complete it their due to lack of funds to cope with the affluent neighborhood of Ikoyi. He completed his secondary education at Army Children School.
For his tertiary education, he sought and gained admission into the Delta State University in Abraka; but did not complete it and instead turned his focus to his music career.
While still pursuing his education, he began to develop himself in music and performed at many parties and social gatherings gaining popularity among his friends and course mates. He also played an active part in an Ajegunle based Cherubim and Seraphim Choir. His first ever recorded album was “Boys dey Binu” meaning “Boys are not happy”. This album contained a total of eight tracks. This album was done within his then music group who called themselves “The Junglist.”
To further develop himself, he gained more education in a music school in Ajegunle which was owned by Johnny Napp; an influence at that time to the growing talents in the music community. This music school saw the likes of the 90s legends such as Daddy Showkey, Baba Fryo, and Daddy Fresh.
According to an interview with the Leadership newspaper, Oritse Femi said that his experience at this music school was the sole reason; he infused reggae into his early style of music. While in school, he and his music group also released another music album titled “Money Na Time” which contained about eight tracks.
In 2006, the Junglist was broken up due to a profound disagreement between the two artists that made up the group. Oritse Femi and his partner Chi-junglist both went apart to try and establish their solo careers.
But, it was only Oritse Femi that was able to quickly become a success through the release of some singles; that warmed into the hearts of his growing community of fans. This track at the time was “Flog Politician”. At the same time, he released the “Flog Politician” track, his former partner, Chibudo (Chi-junglist) released a diss record but it was not as successful as the track released by Oritse Femi.
The Flog Politician made a massive hit primarily in the streets of Ajegunle; and even became the street anthem at that time. The success of the album led to threats and jabs from his former partner, but Oritse Femi with an inborn maturity decided that no words of his were worth having a battle with his former partner. His first solo single “ Flog Politician,” he said was influenced by the upcoming 2007 elections in Nigeria at that time. He later released an album titled “ Elewon” which means Chase them in the English language. His passion influenced his singing at that time that corrupt leaders should be chased out of the appointments and offices they held in the country.
He later went on to release other songs such as another popular hit single “ Mama Lati” in which, he featured “ Rocksteady” and then another solo album titled ‘Wicked World”. The hit track in this album “ Mercy of the Lord,” he says was done wishing that God descend from above and bestow mercy upon his children.
Oriste Femi is a real music icon whose music has always been based on the situations faced in the country at different times. He has also released many other albums such as “Money Stops Nonsense” and many more. He has featured many famous artists including Da Grin, Reminisce and Pasuma Wonder.
One of his most phenomenal songs was his remake of Fela Kuti’s “Double Wahala”; which gained him even a significant increase in awareness across the globe.
- In 2014, he received an award for “ Best Street Hip Hop Artiste and was nominated for four positions including “ Best Collabo,” “ Best Pop Single,” “ Best Vocal Performance(Male) and “Song of the Year,” All of these was received from “The Headies 2014”.
- Also in 2014, he received an award for “ Most Popular Song of the Year”; and was nominated for “ Video of the Year” by the City People Entertainment Awards.
- Again in 2014, he received an award for “ Indigenous Artist of the Year” and was nominated for the following positions; “ Hottest Single of the Year,” “ Best New Act” and “ Male Artist of the Year”. All of these was received from the 2014 Nigeria Entertainment Awards.
Oritse Femi is currently estimated to be worth about $2 million