In Paris, 2009
|Born||22 February 1963|
|Associated acts||Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, Tony Allen, Femi Kuti|
His career began when he joined Fela Anikulapo-Kuti's Egypt 80 (1979–86). Sosimi then created Positive Force band with Femi Kuti, with whom he performed from 1986 to 1994. In both bands he was keyboard player, also musical director taking care of re-orchestrating and arranging music as well as handling the recruiting and training of new musicians.
Based on Afrobeat, Dele's music is a blend of complex funk grooves, Nigerian traditional music (including highlife), African percussion, underpinning the jazz horns and solos from other instruments, as well as rhythmical singing.
Following his first solo album Turbulent Times, he was invited to select the tracks for the 3-CD compilation "Essential Afrobeat" (Universal, 2004). He was producer and co-writer of "Calabash Volume 1: Afrobeat Poems" by Ikwunga, the Afrobeat Poet (2004). He is a central member of the Wahala Project. He has also featured on British rapper TY's album Closer and his "Turbulent Times" is featured on The Afrobeat Sudan Aid Project (2006). His album Identity has been described by Songlines magazine as “A sizzling set from London’s Afrobeat leader”.
His performances include the Montreux Jazz Festival, Joe Zawinul's Birdland (Vienna) the Treibhaus (Innsbruck ), Paradiso and Bimhuis in Amsterdam, Oerol Festival at Terschelling, also in the Netherlands, the Ollin Kan Festival (Mexico City), Canada Afrobeat Summit (Calgary, Canada), Sensommer Int Musikkfestival (Oslo, Norway), Festival Musicas Do Mar and Festival Musicas do Mundo (Portugal), Festival Art des Ville - Arts des Champs (France) & the London African Music Festival, Hot Club in Lyon and Cave à Musique in Mâcon (France). In November 2010, Sosimi was appointed Afrobeat music consultant for the London production of Fela! at the National Theatre, London, in which he also plays keyboard.
Based in London, Sosimi is an educator and instructor in Afrobeat (via his Dele Sosimi Afrobeat Foundation, and as a Visiting Lecturer in Music and Media, London Metropolitan University). He performs in one of three formats, each as compelling and funky as the others – a 15-piece Afrobeat Orchestra (featuring a 5-piece horn section and dancers), a 6- to 9-piece band (the most frequently used format) or a trio/quartet (with bass and drums/percussion).
Sosimi is abetted by a group of musicians. Afrobeat is given a virtuoso treatment by a core combination of Femi Elias (bass), Kunle Olofinjana (drums), Phil Dawson (rhythm guitar), Maurizio Ravalico (percussion), Justin Thurgur (trombone), Tom Allan (trumpet) and Eric Rohner (tenor saxophone).