Victor Olaiya is one of Nigeria’s famous trumpeter, composers and vocalist. Born on the 31st December 1932 as Victor Owolabi Abimbola Olayia in Calabar, Nigeria. Olaiya’s musical journey like many began at home and throughout his formative years in school. He picked up the french-horn in school then progressed to playing the trumpeter for which he is famously known for. Olaiya’s was highly inspired by Ghanaian Highlife and his mentor was highlife legend E.T. Mensah who toured Nigeria on several occasions. The two had an opportunity to collaborate and promote harmony across both countries through music. Olaiya’s journey throughout West Africa and beyond popularised him as ‘Dr. Victor Olayia - the Evil Genius of Highlife’.
Oti, S., 2009. Highlife music in West Africa. Lagos, Nigeria: Malthouse Press.
Researched and Written by Paulina Nkansah