Femi Leye


Oluwafemi Abolade Leye, known professionally as Femi Leye, is a Nigerian guitarist, singer, songwriter, record producer, and composer. His music is a hybrid of African ethnic sounds, Contemporary Soul, Jazz, Rhythm and Blues, Funk and Yoruba Music.

Femi Leye
Femi Leye at O2, London.jpg
Background information
Birth nameOluwafemi Abolade Leye
Born7 September 1989
Ikeja, Lagos State, Nigeria
GenresAfrican MusicPopSoulJazzRhythm and BluesWorld Music Yoruba Music

Singer-songwriter Multi-instrumentalist Record Producer

Years active2008–present
LabelsFemi Leye Entertainment

Early life and educationEdit

Femi was born in Ogba, Lagos.

He graduated from Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro, with a degree in Food Science and Technology.[1]


He grew up listening to his father's vinyls of artists like King Sunny Ade,[2] Ebenezer Obey, and Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. At age 14, Femi taught himself how to play the guitar, with heavy influences from musical legends like Jimmy Dludlu, Lionel Loueke, George Benson, Norman Brown and Wes Montgomery.

After graduating from college, he worked with different artistes in Nigeria in the studio and on stage. He had a residency with his band Femi Leye Trio at Eko Hotel & Suites.

He went on to score musicals and spoke word performances by Titilope Sonuga and Wanawana.[3][4] He also had production credits and played for artists such as Youssou N'dour, Angélique Kidjo, Salif Keita,[5] Akon, Don Jazzy, Tiwa Savage, Adekunle Gold, Di'ja, Reminisce, Chidinma Ekile, Burnaboy, Juls, and Brymo.

2010–2011: Career beginningsEdit

Femi produced his first song, "Irawo Owuro", which means "Morning Star". It is a contemporary jazz song with heavy African sound influences.

2014–2015: Ekaabo & IbukunEdit

In 2014, he released his first official single titled, "Smile", which received massive airplay from popular radio stations. He will later release his debut studio album in August 2015, titled Ekaabo,[6] which means "Welcome" in Yoruba. The album is a 10-song project of African infused Contemporary Jazz and Funk.

In 2015, he teamed up with Chopstix and released a joint project titled "Ibukun"[7]


In September 2017, Femi released the album Ekaabo Live which was recorded from The Ekaabo Concert at the Lagoon Restaurant, Victoria Island, Lagos on June 3, 2017.[8]

In June 2017, with his friend Adekunle Gold he started the band The 79th Element. The band has toured across Africa, Europe and the U.S.[9]

He performed at the 2018 AMVCA Awards[10] and presented a speech at TEDxLagos.[11]

The Highlife Ep was released in October 2018 a collection of original highlife tunes written, produced and performed by Femi Leye. [1]

The project went on to be used as soundtrack to Ndanitv's Skinny girl in transit.


In July 2019, he released his second studio album Femi Leye The Album to critical acclaim.[2] he went on to perform to a 2500 audience at sky theatre Minnesota, USA opening for Congolese Artiste Fally Ipupa. He had his first headline concert at Norwood Club, New York selling out tickets a day before the show.

In September 2019,he collaborated with Reekadobanks on his hit record "RORA" and also did so on the acoustic version of the song. [3]

Femi Leye performed at the 2020 AMVCA Nominees and sponsors party [4]

In January 2021,he released Pendulum The Ep to Critical acclaim,the project is a fusion of Lofi, Jazz, Afrobeat and Hiphop with Femi Leye producing the entire project.He partnered with StageIt, a virtual live concert company in Los Angeles California with StreamAfrica for a virtual concert of live music and Live art alongside his wife Iniabasi Leye. They both appeared on Timesquare Billboard in New York City,USA.

Pendulum Vol 2 will be released June 25th,2021.

Personal lifeEdit

Femi is married to Iniabasi Leye, an artist, art therapist and broadcaster. They have 2 children together.


  • Ibukun
  • Ekaabo
  • Ekaabo Live
  • The Highlife Ep
  • Femi Leye The Album
  • Pendulum
  • Pendulum Vol 2

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award ceremony Prize Recipient/Nominated work Result
2016 Beatz Awards Best Afrojazz Producer Won [12]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "True African Gems: Nigerian Musician Femi Leye". Edufrica. 2015-03-02. Retrieved 2018-08-22.
  2. ^ "Sunny Ade is the reason I play guitar- Femi Leye". Simply Jazz. 2016-07-17. Retrieved 2018-08-23.
  3. ^ "Band Aid, A Musical Play Returns for Christmas - Featuring Jide Kosoko, Gideon Okeke, EmmaOhMyGod, Femi Leye, Patrick Diabuah & Phebean Oluwadare | December 24th – 27th - BellaNaija". www.bellanaija.com. Retrieved 2018-08-23.
  4. ^ "The Finale! Lai Mohammed, Ireti Doyle, Adebola Williams attend #OpenWithTitilope | Photos - BellaNaija". www.bellanaija.com. Retrieved 2018-08-23.
  5. ^ Channels Television (2016-04-18), EN: How I Met And Produced For Music Legend, Youssou N'dor - Femi Leye, retrieved 2018-08-23
  6. ^ Akan, Joey. "Femi Leye: Musician releases debut album "Ekaabo"". Retrieved 2018-08-22.
  7. ^ "Femi Leye - Ayo - Latest Naija Nigerian Music, Songs & Video". Latest Naija Nigerian Music, Songs & Video. 2015-06-17. Retrieved 2018-08-23.
  8. ^ Channels Television (2017-06-12), EN: Femi Leye Brings Out Adekunle Gold At 'Ekaabo Concert' In Lagos, retrieved 2018-08-23
  9. ^ "Adekunle Gold & The 79th Element! Singer unveils New Band". www.bellanaija.com. Retrieved 2018-08-23.
  10. ^ Bada, Gbenga. "See your favourite movie stars looks at AMVCAs nominees party". Retrieved 2018-08-23.
  11. ^ "12 Powerful Speeches, Networking, Entertainment! TEDxLagos 2018 was focused on Spotlighting Africa & its People - BellaNaija". www.bellanaija.com. Retrieved 2018-08-23.
  12. ^ "The Beatz Awards Official Site". www.thebeatzawards.com. Retrieved 2018-08-23.

External linksEdit

  • Official website