The legendary music producer
Behind Onyeka Onwenu and King Sunday Ade’s duet and all time hit song ‘Wait For Me’, Ras Kimono’s ‘Whats A Gwan’ and Majek Fasheck’s ‘Send Down The Rain’ was a phenomenal son of Akwa Ibom, Lemmy Jackson Otu-Udofa, Lemmy Jackson for short. He produced them. In fact, he produced most of the hit songs of the 1980 and early 90s in Nigeria and was easily dubbed the Nigeria’s version of Quincy Jones, the legendary American music producer.
Lemmy was behind the console, listening to and analyzing every note; fusing sweet voices to form hits; blending and redefining the recorded sounds and ‘massaging’ voices to make them audible and presentable to the listening audience at a time music production was thoroughly manual and relied more on the skills of the producer than the intelligence of the machine used.
This native of Eket studied Metallurgy in Russia in the late 1970’s, before moving to England where he began to develop a passion for music and took to it as a side hustle. A chanced meeting with Laolu Akins secured him a place as keyboardist in the hit band, BLO. He joined Time Communications, Lagos, a new record label, established by businessman Paul Aifuwa, as in-house producer. At Time, he produced Oby Onyioha’s ‘I Want To Feel Your Love’ and also, his own debut album, ‘Tonight’. His record and that of Onyioha were recorded at Haruna Ishola’s Phondisk Studio in Ijebu-Ode and sent to London for mixing, as was the practice those days. Lemmy will later become the first producer to localise production and mixing of records. He later joined EMI, another record label, and turned attention to reggae. Aside from Ras Kimono’s ‘Whats Gwan’, he produced Tera Kota’s ‘Lamentations of Sodom in 1984, and contributed to Mandator’s third album, Rebel. He was also associated with Kris Okotie, Alex O and all budding and top musicians of the 80s and 90s. There was hardly any musician of repute Lemmy Jackson did not work for, and with.
He created a strong reputation for the music production industry and became its signature image.