by Yemi Olowu
Nigeria Idol judge, Jeffrey Daniel recently led one of Soul’s biggest groups ever, the Shalamar, in a reunion concert at the O2 arena. The well attended event took place on the 29th of October in London. Joining him on stage was original member of Shalamar- Howard Hewett and the group’s newest member, Carolyn Griffey who happens to be the daughter of Shalamar’s creator, Richard Griffey. “We had a wonderful time,” Daniel said. “I enjoy doing my thing on stage and it is always an honour to perform as part of Shalamar.”
At the young age of 17, Daniel was lighting up the dance floor with his brilliant moves on American TV’s ‘Soul Train’. He soon joined dance partner Jody Watley and Howard Hewett to form the hugely popular soul group, Shalamar. Shalamar went on to sell 25 million copies worldwide releasing popular hits such as, ‘Night to Remember, I Can Make You Feel Good, There It Is, Take it to The Bank, Make That Move, Friends, For the Lover In You, Uptown Festival and others. Daniel left the group to pursue a solo career and became one of the top high profile choreographers and dancers in the business even working with the late King of Pop, he also worked as a creative consultant, singer, writer and producer.
First Nigerian Idol winner, Yeka Onka, also performed at the prestigious event, she comanded the stage – wowing the audience with her new single ‘Follow You’. “It was an amazing experience I cannot forget. Having to perform to a predominantly foreign crowd who do not know you can be very challenging, I was very humbled that they warmed up to me and my music,” she said. Another idol winner to perform at the arena was Timi Dakolo, of West African Idol fame.
Daniel said it was important that Nigerian musicians featured in high profile events like the re-union concert. “Nigerian music is blowing up outside the country now, we can see major audiences in the US and Europe open up to the new sound. We need more platforms where Nigerian music can be heard, the Shalamar reunion was a good opportunity to express my support for Nigerian music and as we can see, they loved them,” he said.
Daniel has since returned to judging duties on one of Nigeria’s biggest music reality shows, Nigerian Idol.