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Prince Chijioke Mbanefo & His Ogbaru Brothers Int'l

HRH King Chijioke Mbanefo (Eze-Egwu) is one of the most successful songwriters and artists of the 1990s. He started singing professionally since 1999 but his breakthrough didn't come until early 2005, as the songwriter of his first hit single "Ije Nwa Ognenye Na Ogaranya," (The Journey Between The Poor And The Rich) a number one Hot 100 hit that Highlife music lovers later determined to be the one most real life situation single of the decade.

By 2017, however, Chijioke had racked up a career's worth of accomplishments. He released over THIRTY SIX albums, twenty of which went platinum in Africa. His music added a high level of sophistication to Highlife music while appealing to both younger and mature audiences.

“Every one of my tracks has had a point, some kind of message,” Chijioke explains. “The underlying question on my albums is the poor vs. the rich, money, power, evil vs. good and fame vs. love. Which will you choose? It’s really a question of choice. I want people to question how they live their lives. I’m showing them the pros and cons of both sides.”

He’s the winner of 2011”, 2012, 2015 and most recent 2016 “King of High Life, Africa. A songwriter, composer, and producer, one of music’s most talented and prolific artist. In less than 15 years, he’s produced over THIRTY No.1 albums, sold millions copies across Nigeria and Africa.

Born and raised Chijioke Mbanefo in Abiriba-Ose, Atani-Ogbaru, Nigeria. Chijioke broke into the music industry as a musician, though he had a short start with a long-lived highlife music legend called Osadebe.

“You want to know the two things that really inspired me? Love and Boredom,” Chijioke declares. “I was looking at the music industry in Nigeria and I was absolutely bored by the highlife genre. Everyone is doing the same thing. It’s all about dance-able beats and microphone. That’s why Osadebe came out and blew the world up because he brought back the entertainment and inspiration factor. He gives you something to be inspired by other than a person standing on stage singing a song with a bunch of sexy dancers. What he’s done for the High-Life community is what I’m hoping to continuing doing for the HighLife world and music in general.”

Elaborate concepts aside, at its core, artists that influence his music, beautiful melodies and a voice that’s as supple as it is powerful: “I like listening to a lot of old school Osadebe,” he says. “Musicians like Ali Chukwuma, Captain Mudibe, Celestine Okwu, Sunny Ade, and Ebenezer Obe. Osadebe didn’t just make songs. He made moments and that’s what I’m always striving to do.”

When asked how he’s evolved as an artist, Chijioke answer is simple: “I’m not afraid anymore,” he says. “When you’re first starting out you try so hard to get in the business and get noticed and when you finally do get in, you don’t want to step on anybody’s toes. You’re afraid you might get kicked out and locked out.”

“I really want to drive home the fact that I’m a true artist. I’m done playing in the junior league and graduated to the big time. 100 percent an expression of myself, with no apologies made and no more playing it safe.

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