Self-taught, after a long period of DJ-ing in and around London’s underground club scene in the mid-late 80′s, Sola graduated from a young backing vocalist with Gasper Lawal and the Oro Band, to percussionist/drummer in a remarkably short space of time.
After watching the late Miguel ‘Anga’ Diaz (percussionist with Irakere), then participating in a workshop with the great Alex Acuna (Weather Report drummer/percussionist), Sola was inspired to seek greater depth in his playing and find his own voice.
UK jazz guitarist Ronny Jordan was the next front man to notice Sola’s ability, enlisting his subtle groove and feel on his next 2 albums: ‘The Quiet Revolution’ and ‘Light to Dark’ – the later album showcasing Sola’s writing and singing ability.
Sola really found his sound after working with the Congolese singer songwriter Lokua Kanza, originally based in Paris, now in Rio, Brazil. Lokua encouraged Sola to explore his own musicality, giving him complete freedom in his musical landscape to express himself. Showing complete trust in Sola’s musical abilities, he left him in the studio with his sound engineer for a full day, enabling Sola to return from Paris inspired and empowered to continue his musical journey.
This power was to continue growing. Jason Kay, leader of the phenomenally successful band Jamiroquai, recognised and harnessed it. Jamiroquai percussionist since 1997, debuting on the huge selling album Travelling Without Moving, Sola Akingbola has been a stalwart member of the band ever since. 5 albums, numerous world tours and over 35 million albums later, Sola has refused to let that sensitivity, groove and feel wane.
Still growing, still searching, percussionist Sola Akingbola continues to bring a funkiness to the Jamiroquai rhythm section as well as currently working on a number of solo projects. He is always seeking new collaborations whether live or in the studio.