Monday 11 March 2024

Sweet Breeze: The Epic Nigerian Band

You have heard about classic bands like the Beetles, Eagles among others. But do you know this epic Nigerian band from the 1970s and 1980s that recorded the best songs of the era?

During the civil war, music was solace to the soul and the aftermath of the civil war saw the rise of one of Nigerians best ever epic band known as Sweet Breeze. 

Sweet Breeze in 1977 was a band comprised of King Dallas Anyanwu (a native of Amaraku, Mbano), Goodluck Maurice Anyaora, nicknamed Jackie Moore (a native of Umunkwo, Mbano), Vincent Chukwunyelu Ikeotuonye also known as Vin Iyk (a native of Ozubulu, Anambra state), Basil Chukwujike Akalonu, nicknamed Bazzy Cole (a native of Owere Nchise) and Nestor Philip.

Bands like Dee Mites and Life Everlasting folded in the 1970s. It was around the early 1970s that King Dallas Anyanwu invited some of his friends from these two previous bands that Sweet Breeze was formed.

At first, Sweet Breeze was called Rock Breeze and only had shows in limited hotels around Enugu and were not popular.

Around that time, Samuel Ohanyerewa was forced to leave Sweet Breeze. Apparently, his father had come to Enugu, stormed one of their rehearsals and taken away his son from Sweet Breeze. Majority of people at that time believed musicians were "never do wells" and Samuel's father didn't want his son to end up being wasted.

However, this was a blessing in disguise to Rock Breeze as the slot for a bassist opened in their band. At that time, Bazzy Cole had a fallout with his band Speed Limits and thus joined Rock Breeze.

One day, Rock Breeze were rehearsing at Tourist Hotel, Ziks Avenue, Enugu. It was on this fateful day that they met Pat Akalonu, elder brother to Bazzy Cole who was a famous radio producer.

Pat auditioned the band and instantly fell in love with their style of music. He knew there and then that this band would be an instant success, especially with the new found love of pop music in the world.

Pat advised them to change their name from Rock Breeze to Sweet Breeze and took the band to record their first album; Across the Desert at EMI Studios and the album was released by FF Records, a subsidiary of Melody Records.

The album, Across the Desert became an instant success after its release and Sweet Breeze instantly became one of Nigerians favourite band.

Some of the popular songs by Sweet Breeze includes Palmwine Tapper, Mr and Mrs Fool, She's My Choice, Chasing After Rainbows, Across The Desert, True Love, Wrong The Right, Feelings, among others.

Sweet Breeze enjoyed a stand as one of the best bands in the 70s and 80s up to the mid 90s, and played a crucial role in taking Nigerian music to the world.

Their style of music was soft, unique, and felt like a gentle breeze.

In the 70s and 80s, pop music was popular in Nigeria and one of the top names in that list was Enugu based band known as Sweet Breeze, brought together by the pursuit of academics in Enugu. The pursuit for academics and the passion to make good music.

However, Sweet Breeze band member, King Dallas revealed that they received no royalties from Melody Records even when their first album was an instant success.

Have you heard about Sweet Breeze before? 

You can check them out on YouTube or stream some of their classics.

Source: Mazi Gracious Paul Chidiebube

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