M-Josh is the new Afrobeat sensation who managed to usher that analogous rawness of Fela’s Afrobeat in his digitally rendered music. He blends Majek Fashek’s groovy wobbly left and right Kpangolo skanks, with Fela’s oratory hand gestures, cascade of direct interpellations, and figurative speech rooted in the colloquialism of the masses.
He was born on the 17th of May 1984, as Joshua Chukwubikem Matthew. By the age of 4, M-Josh was already in love with music. He and his peers formed their own singing group, using makeshift instruments created out of anything with decent resonance. He subsequently joined the Association Of Sacred Heart Band playing guitar and drums and then several Pentecostal church bands before embarking on his solo career.
After his dad Mr. Matthew’s death, when he was 12 years old, his mother, Anthonia Matthews, was forced to go into petty trading and menial jobs to fend for her seven children. As the first son, having to play the fatherly role to his siblings and do whatever he could to alleviate his widowed mother’s burden, young Chukwubikem’s developmental psychology was hastened. Nevertheless, having already completed the Army Children School cycle, the young man managed his way through and Community Secondary School.
M-Josh first breakthrough was in 2011, when he produced and featured in the song Spiritual Conji by renowned indigenous Afro hip-hop rapper Mr. Raw. Subsequently moved to the bustling city of Lagos, where he moon-shined as studio producer. He helped develop young talents, and eventually started recording his own songs.
Finally, in February 2020, he recorded a series of songs that will make up his maiden full album, “Alhaji Go Know”, that will launch his sociopolitical and pan-African inspired songs. By March 2020, more tracks such as “Dagbo” and “Movie in Aso Rock” followed, addressing how the Coronavirus outbreak exposed the perpetual state of unreadiness of the system in which the people look up to, overt corruption, and the ineptitude of the current Nigerian government.
Just like Fela and Majek did, M-Josh lends his voice and music to the voiceless, and sees it as an escape route from poverty mentally, spiritually, and physically.