Kay Olajide aka Kay, is a composer/ arranger/ producer and multi-instrumentalist who from the on-set established a unique and fresh fusion of authentic Afro-centric rhythms with western forms, majorly contemporary jazz. The result is a powerful, lyrical sound showcasing African poly-rhythms, groove and beautiful, catchy melodies.
This new eleven-track CD “African Footprints” is a well planned, well executed album and is obviously steps above his previous projects, featuring Kay on saxophones, flute, percussions, drums and vocals. African Footprints is a must have album showcasing solid grooves and upfront memorable melodies. The title track "African Footprints" is a classic, groove infused, personalized interpretation of Wayne Shorter’s "footprints" delivered with a smooth jazz flavor exemplifying his creativity. The album also features a solid groove Afro-beat track "Half A Word" with beautiful horn reefs arrangement. A couple of smooth jazz tracks like "Higher Ground", "Other Side Of Maria", "Athena Drive Memo" and "Showers Of Love" are also featured.
This album was produced and arranged by Kay and the smoothness of the project reflects a new phase in his musical perceptions tilting more than before on the side of contemporary beats and vocal choruses in addition to his unique saxophone style. The album also feature him on trap drums.
Apart from his afro-centric music roots Kay had been influenced by the likes of Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, Hubert Laws, Grover Washington jnr, Yusef Lateef and Charlie Parker. His strongest impulse for composition would however come from the tonal characteristics and rhythms of hand drums/percussions, eastern melodic progressions and the celestial-like sound of an acoustic piano.
In the past, he played with leading bands in Nigeria (West Africa) from 1985 to 1992 and toured Europe until he founded The Weavers band in 1993. The band was well known for its originality, focus, and quality.
In 1998, his debut album 'Once Upon A time' was released on Jazzhole record label to a welcoming audience. The album was widely reviewed and critically acclaimed by Nigerian and African press. BBC Network Africa Service accorded the album lots of airplay and personal interviews in recognition of creative accomplishments.
'IBA' his second album further establish his creativity. The music draws largely from his Afro-centric background seamlessly blended with western jazz forms. Kay's music pioneered and set the pace for what can be called 'Nigerian Jazz' being the most prominent act in its genre. "IBA is a classic album reinvigorating jazz with its African perspective, virtuoso playing, and some great compositions"...(Straight No Chaser , UK 2001). Kay performed with his band within and outside Africa including festivals in Normandy, France and Amman Jordan.
Kay’s music would seem to have provided a matching West African flavor to jazz as he believes "The beauty of a people is rooted in their striving to fully utilize cultural elements within their sub-region as basis for expression, especially in art forms"