by Rachel Ogbu//
Lighthouse Family lead singer Nigerian-British Tunde Baiyewu, 48, returned to the limelight in April when he delivered an exceptional performance to revellers at the Big Grill Festival in Dubai.
His group was one of the biggest bands of the 90s with hits like their debut album Ocean Drive which came out in 1995 and sold more than 1.8 million copies in the UK alone.Don’t forget the number singles “Lifted”, “Lost In Space”, “Ocean Drive”, “Raincloud” and “High.” In early 2003, Baiyewu became a solo artist and released two albums “Diamond in a Rock” in 2010 and “Tunde” in 2014. He said Diamond in a Rock was really an album about how he saw life because life can be hard, it can be a bit of a rock at times, when it seems like there’s one problem after another. ” If you focus on it, you realise that it might have some worth and have something of value buried in it. That’s the theme of the album,” he said.
Last year, Baiyewu performed at the second night of the Mouth of the Tyne Festival with rave reviews,
His father died when he was five and his mother remairred former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo. Tunde Baiyewu married Nigerian model Tope Adeshina and has two children – Elizabeth, 5, and Rebecca, 2. Reminiscing about his childhood between England and Nigeria, he said it was not easy settling in. “One of my earliest memories is of riding my bike in Willesden Green, north London, coming into the house and seeing my mum crying at the kitchen table. She was holding a letter and bawling her eyes out. It wasn’t until when I grew up that I realised it was the letter telling her my dad had died. He was studying to be a structural engineer but got cancer. He was treated in Britain but it got worse and he went back to Nigeria to get treatment. He never came back. It was a lot to take on as a four-year-old. I didn’t understand what was going on. At one point my dad was there, then he wasn’t – that’s all I knew,” he told Metro News.
I came to London wanting to be an accountant, which is what I studied to be. Then I decided accountancy was boring, met musician Paul Tucker and we started The Lighthouse Family together. Even when we were working as a band, I didn’t want to tell my mother – it wasn’t until we played the Albert Hall that she was convinced I was doing well with it.