Majekodunmi Fasheke, popularly known as Majek Fashek, is a Nigerian
reggae singer-songwriter and guitarist. In his homeland he is
best known for the 1988 album Prisoner of Conscience which included
the single "Send Down the Rain", winning him several awards. Also
known as The Rainmaker, he has also worked with various artists
worldwide including Tracy Chapman, Jimmy Cliff, Michael Jackson, Snoop
Dogg, and Beyoncé.
1 Early life
2 Musical career
2.1 Early 80's: Jastix
2.2 1988-1990: Prisoner of Conscience and I&I Experience
2.3 1991: So Long Too Long and American invation
3 Musical style
4 Other works
5 Personal life
6.1 Studio albums
8 External links
Fashek was born in
Benin City to an Edo mother and a Yoruba father,
but identifies with his Benin roots. Various translations of his name
Fasheke (Ifa-kii-she-eke) include "high priest who does not lie",
"powers of miracles" and "(system or medium of) divination does not
lie" After his parents separated Fashek remained in Benin City
with his mother, and soon joined the choir in his local
and learned to play the trumpet and guitar whilst composing songs for
Early 80's: Jastix
In the early eighties Fashek, who at the time went by the stage name
Rajesh Kanal, joined the group Jastix with McRoy Gregg, and lead
singer Black Rice. They were best known as the in-house band on the
show Music Panorama on NTA Benin, and toured with fellow reggae group
The Mandators. Jastix were also session musicians for upcoming reggae
singer Edi Rasta, who would later be known as Evi-Edna Ogholi.
1988-1990: Prisoner of Conscience and I&I Experience
In 1988, shortly after Jastix disbanded Fashek, who now used the name
Majek Fashek, signed with Tabansi Records and began a solo career by
releasing the album Prisoner of Conscience and quickly became
Nigeria's top reggae artist after the song "Send Down The Rain" became
the most popular song of the year, and in 1989 he won six
which included "Song of the Year", "Album of the Year", and "Reggae
Artist of the Year". Fashek's next album was I&I Experience
which was released in late 1989 under the Tabansi label.
1991: So Long Too Long and American invation
After leaving Tabansi Records, he was signed to CBS
Nigeria in the
early 1990s and released So Long Too Long. In 1990 he was signed to
Interscope Records and released the critically acclaimed album Spirit
Of Love, produced by "Little Steven" Van Zandt. In 1992, he appeared
Late Night with David Letterman
Late Night with David Letterman in support of his new 1991 album,
and performed the song "So Long Too Long" for the television
audience. Flame Tree released The Best of
Majek Fashek in 1994. He
was later dropped by Interscope before moving to Mango, a division of
Island Records, as it was more accustomed to marketing reggae
internationally. His first album for the company included a cover
version of Bob Marley's "Redemption Song". He has recorded several
albums for various labels since, including Rainmaker for Tuff Gong
(1997) and Little Patience for Coral (2004).
Fashek's musical influences include
Bob Marley - whom he resembles
vocally - Jimi Hendrix, and Fela Kuti. He was one of the
original Nigerian artists to be drawn to the music of the Caribbean,
specifically reggae, rather than indigenous hybrids such as fuji,
jùjú, but has been known to mix these genres into his own style
which he calls kpangolo, and the song "My Guitar", an ode to his
favourite instrument, was also heavily influenced by rock.
Fashek played a supporting role in the 2000
Nollywood movie Mark of
the Beast, and starred in a commercial for non-alcoholic
beverage Diamalt. He recently (2016) performed in a comedy show (with
more than ten thousand audience in attendance) in Lagos, Nigeria, with
a roundly power-filled and soul-lifting performance.
In December 2016 Fashek contributed the song "We Are Not Afraid" to a
video featuring 200 celebrities to raise funds for the International
Rescue Committee (IRC) and Human Rights Watch (HRW).
Fashek was married to Rita Fashek who inspired the song "Without You";
the couple had four children together, but have since
divorced. In 2015, it was revealed that Fashek was bankrupt
and battling drug addiction. After admitting that he needed help, he
was admitted into a drug rehabilitation centre in
Abuja where he is
currently recovering. Majek has since recovered and he is back to
Prisoner of Conscience
Spirit of Love
Coral Music Group
^ a b Harris, Craig. "Biography - Majek Fashek". allmusic.com.
Retrieved 1 October 2010.
^ a b Faosheke, John Olu (11 February 2007). "Majek Fashek's Ijeshaedo
Roots Revealed". AllAfrica.com. AllAfrica Global Media. Retrieved 1
^ "Nigeria: Rainmaker,
Majek Fashek Re-Ignites Hope for a Comeback".
^ 40 Minutes with the Rainmaker Archived 2015-10-01 at the Wayback
Majek Fashek Re-ignites Hope For A Comeback - Nigerian
News from Leadership News". Nigerian News from Leadership News.
Majek Fashek Tragedy: The Inside Story No One Told You
#SavingMajek". Entertainment Express.
^ daily Editor. "I fell in love with Evi-Edna when she came for PMAN
membership card –Ogosi". Independent Newspapers Limited. CS1
maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
^ "Majek Fashek's problem is spiritual –Imona". 2014-04-16. Archived
from the original on April 16, 2014. Retrieved 2016-01-13.
^ Adedayo Showemimo. "7 amazing facts about a fallen hero, Majek
Fashek - Nigerian Entertainment Today - Nigeria's Number 1
Entertainment Daily". Nigerian Entertainment Today - Nigeria's Number
1 Entertainment Daily.
^ Loder, Kurt. Rolling Stone. "Fashek's vocal and lyrical resemblance
to the late
Bob Marley is both eerie and earned...."
^ Farber, Jim. New York Daily News, 19 January 1992. "Ziggy may be Bob
Marley's biological son, but
Majek Fashek is his spiritual heir. In
terms of vocal tone, Fashek is Marley's spitting image...."
^ Pareles, Jon. The New York Times, 5 December 1990. "...a promising
hybrid style, one that started in standard reggae but has added the
bustling cross-rhythms of Nigerian juju and a touch of hard rock."
^ "Joseph Edgar: Majek Fashek, a national tragedy". DailyPost
^ "Strange Deaths Hit Nigerian Movie Industry Again!". The Street
Nollywood - 2014 in Retrospect". allAfrica.com.
Majek Fashek performs shirtless at AY Live 2016 (Happy Ever
Laughter Edition)". YouTube video.
^ I thought I would live with
Majek Fashek forever – Ex wife, Rita
Archived 2015-08-15 at the Wayback Machine.
^ "WHO'S AFTER MAJEK FASHEK?, Articles - THISDAY LIVE".
^ "Nigeria: I Am in Rehab and Receiving Treatment - Majek Fashek".
^ "Discography - Majek Fashek". allmusic.com. Retrieved 1 October
Majek Fashek interview