He has been called The Voice, won the inaugural Idols West Africa singing competition, been dubbed Nigeria’s King of soul but Timi Dakolo, singer, songwriter and soulful performer refers to himself simply as a God made man, a regular dude who just likes to voice his thoughts in song. He insists so because, according to him, the hand of God has guided his every career move from the moment he made the decision to enter for Idols West Africa, the sub-continental version of the monster talent hunt television programme. The American version has crowned powerful singers like Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Ruben Studdard and in Timi Dakolo, these champions have a worthy co-traveller.
Born on 20, January 1981 in Accra, capital of the West African state of Ghana to a Nigerian father and a Ghanaian mother, Dakolo was dealt a heavy blow when he lost his mother at the tender age of 13. A native of Bayelsa state, he was raised by his grandmother in Port Harcourt and he credits her with nurturing his singing talent and encouraging him to join the choir in church. He became a founding member of the singing group Purple Love which became a regular in the Port Harcourt local music circuit.
His big break however came in 2007 when he auditioned for the reality show Idols West Africa in Calabar, Cross Rivers state. He impressed the judges mightily and from that moment, became a firm favourite to take the prize. While still in competition Dakolo received news that his grandmother had passed away and upon his return recorded the rock ballad ‘Heaven please’ to pay her tribute. The song featured rap assistance from M.I and won the Best Recording at the Hip Hop World Awards (now Headies).
Dakolo emerged champion of the first and only Idols West Africa after seeing off a particularly strong class of competitors (among whom were Omawumi, Jodie, Joan Ekpai), emerging with 63% of the final votes.
In 2008 Timi Dakolo was the unfortunate victim of a random act of violence. He was shot in the lobby of the Presidential hotel in Port Harcourt but survived with only minor injuries inflicted.
He released his debut album ‘Beautiful noise’, a time capsule of stirring ballads and soulful tunes in 2011 to widespread critical and commercial acclaim. The critics hailed it as an unusual debut and praised his peerless vocal range which is capable of dismantling any song arrangement. Wilfred Okiche of Ynaija.com wrote in his review, ‘’Beautiful noise… is a perfect showcase of his beatic vocals, all genres from R&B to soul are representes here and they all blend to form a kind of musical melee.’’ The bulk of the album was produced by Cobhams Asuquo and spawned audience favourites like ‘Heaven please’, ‘So beautiful’, ‘Love song’ and ‘There’s a cry’
His signature tune ‘Great nation’ was released in 2012 with the video premiere at The Future Awards finale in Port Harcourt. ‘Great nation’ is on it’s way to classic status and has been hailed as a second national anthem. Dakolo regularly performs it while waving the national flag.
He is happily married to the love of his life Busola and they share 3 beautiful children together; 2 girls and a boy. Dakolo’s 2014 single ‘Iyawo mi’ is dedicated to his wife and was released in time for the Valentine season.
Other singles, Wish Me Well (2015), The Vow (2016) and Medicine (2017) have also been released since then.
He is presently hard at work on his sophomore album ‘Love and consequences’ and with plans for a release later in the year.