Africa’s pop idol Timi Dakolo: from Nigeria to your Christmas party playlist
Brought up by his hymn-singing grandmother and coached by Mariah Carey producer, the singer is set to take the pop world by storm
Timi Dakolo is standing on a stage in a strange city in front of an audience who barely know him, singing classics that he has only recently learnt. And the Nigerian singer is charming us all. His weightless tenor, aka “the golden voice of Africa”, fills the warm gloom of Ronnie Scott’s in London, where he’s playing a short showcase. Dakolo moves from Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah to an a cappella I’ll Be Home for Christmas with Michael Bublé smoothness, Luther Vandross soul and a dash of west African intonation.
The 38-year-old is beaming and sharp in his black suit and white shirt, and the air of escapist surreality is accentuated by the festive theme. It’s still November, but mince pies and mulled wine have been