Meet Abbey Jolly, Nigeria’s Cross Cultural Country-Music King


Badagry lies on the north bank of Porto Novo Creek, an inland waterway that connects the national capitals of Nigeria (Lagos) and Benin (Porto-Novo), and on a road that leads to Lagos, Ilaro, and Porto-Novo.

If you are looking for coconut oil and fish, Badagry will be your best bet. Badagry is also home to Nigeria’s cross cultural country king, Abbey Jolly.

Scratching your head, you must be wondering what cross cultural country music is all about. Then join me as I take you on a musical journey into the life of a talented young man who lives in the historical town of Badagry. 

Truth be told. Talent, like fire, cannot be hidden. Even deeper is the fact that TRUE TALENT, like diamond, is indestructible. You can only cover it up with dirt for a short while until true appreciation wipes off the dust bringing  out the true shine of it’s value.

Amos Abiodun Jolaoluwa is a talented multi-instrumentalist. His stage name, Abbey Jolly, only whispers a fraction of what his brand of music renders to the soul. A pure talented musician. A shiny diamond. His brand of music can be comparable to a kaleidoscope of iconics such as Beautiful Nubia, Asha, Adekunle Gold and Simi all symphonically roped together into one.Beautiful Nubia, Simi and Adekunle Gold

Abbey Jolly is a versatile entertainer who easily holds the stage to ransom as a soloist or with his band.

Born in the rocky city of Abeokuta in 1981, 1st of January, Abbey Jolly prides himself not only as a master of vocals and instruments, but he is also a juggernaut in the area of Visual Art.Abbey Jolly's painting

His skillful manipulation of pen, pencil and paint equally comes into play and can be perceived in his music, which undoubtedly are true masterpieces. 

Amos Abiodun Jolaoluwa attended Gateway Primary School, Alakasi, Alagbado. He attended Comprehensive High School, Oko Oba, Agege and Ope Olu Memorial Secondary School, Mulero. He started playing music while waiting for his WAEC results. In order to please his father, he attended Ogun State University, satellite campus and obtained a diploma in accounting. He later trained as an analogue sound engineer.Abbey Jolly

When asked to describe his brand of music, Abbey Jolly puts it simply, “My music is cultural country music.” His music is also strongly  influenced by Christianity by virtue of his affiliation to the church. “Though my philosophies are biblical, but I believe in culture. I don’t preach religion, but I preach godliness.” His timeless pieces include Yourself, Etunlese sir, Forgive me, Tanmon, Ijapa, IrawoAbbey Jolly

Abbey Jolly and his Ajaa Band are working on their album project titled IJAPA (TORTOISE). The work Is influenced by religion, jazz, hi-life culture, Apala and politics. 

As the Saturday sun cheekily hides its intensity from the approaching evening, the Badagry town known as Aradagun is slowly engulfed with a plethora of heads. This gets you wondering where they might have all been hiding. Among these heads is a humble, unassuming musician, Abbey Jolly. Ask him how he spends his lazy Saturday’s, he will point to a shack located between Aradagun market and a fuel station.Pork peppersoup at Badagry

This shack is where the most freshly slaughtered delicious pork pepper soup is prepared. The rest of the meat is deep fried in groundnut oil. It was in this shack I met the jolly master himself as he mingled with the common folks in Badagry. As young men sipped pepper soup and beer, they spoke on national issues and practical solutions that will put  our Houses of Assembly to shame. Outside the shack was a decapitated giant pig head ready to be turned into pepper soup. Decapitated pig head

Abbey Jolly had played for renowned musicians like Fada Bassey and the late OJ Jezreel. He played Juju music as a guitarist for ten years. His guitar teacher, who is now late, was the former captain of the famous Juju maestro, Dele Abiodun. To cap it all, Abbey Jolly plays fifteen instruments making him a true multi-instrumentalist.

With our belly full of Badagry pork pepper soup and beer, it was time to part ways. I exchanged phone numbers with the jolly men of Badagry and said my goodbye to the multi-talented maestro who resides in the ancient, sleepy town of Badagry.

Watch Abbey solo performance below:

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