The Lijadu Sisters debut album, Danger (originally released in 1976), is as funky and mellifluous as it gets, the twins gorgeous harmonies underpinned by a solid Afro-rock beat and framed by Biddy Wright's funky organ and guitar work. Danger has a vibe of uplifting positivity which would be a feature of all four of the Lijadu Sisters albums. Lyrically, most of the songs address social and political issues, sometimes directly, sometimes through metaphor and allusion.
Twins Taiwo and Kehinde were born in Jos, in northern Nigeria, on October 22, 1948. They enjoyed singing from an early age, and remember with special fondness discs by Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles and, Fela Kuti (their second cousin!). 'All our records include songs with deep messages,' says Kehinde. 'Artists should be the voice of the world. Not just of their own people, but of the wider world, for a problem which faces one, faces all.'
Through their career, the sisters met the British drummer Ginger Baker (Cream, Blind Faith, Airplane), who in the first half of the 1070s was a frequent visitor to Nigeria. In 1972, the Lijadu Sisters performed with Baker's band at the cultural festival accompanying the Munich Olympics in Germany.
Another fortuitous encounter was with the multi-instrumentalist Biddy Wright. Wright co-arranged and played on all four of the classic 1970s Lijadu Sisters albums, which are now being re-released by Knitting Factory Records Danger (1976), Mother Africa (1977), Sunshine (1978) and Horizon Unlimited (1979). Assisted only by traditional drummers and percussionists, Wright played most of the instruments on the three discs. Wright, along with Taiwo and Kehinde, were able to flawlessly bring traditional and electric styles together.