Photos © 2009 by: Matt Ginger
Ugochi and A.S.E. (Afro Soul Ensemble) are taking over the world.Ugochi’s musical interests span all corners of the globe. Ugochi was born to Nigerian parents in Chicago. She credits both worlds with being the catalyst for her unique word, sound power and singing ability.
Ugochi’s sound has been described as “lively, energetic music that makes your feet move and heart think.” Ugochi has written poems that have been honored by internationally renowned organizations like Black Theatre Ensemble in Chicago and Apples and Snakes in the UK . She has also shared the stage with established artists such as Common, Eric Benet, John Legend, Femi Kuti, Edwin McCain, Maxi Priest, Malik Yusef, Umphrey’s McGee, J. Ivy, Luciano, Shaggy, Wayna, Tony Allen, Fatoumata Diawara, Bassekou Kouyate, Wayne Wonder and Stephen Marley and Toots and the Maytals. Chicago Music Awards classified her as “Best African Entertainer 2005.” Her musical reverberation, part Afrobeat and part Chi-town soul has been cleverly coined Afro-Soul.
Generally Ugochi’s choreo-poetic style of spoken word has been fused with her unique singing ability in order to generate a more powerful word sound attraction. A child of Nigeria, West Africa, Ugochi has grown into a full-fledged singer and songwriter comfortable enough with her talent for sound and the absence of it. A former rapper, turned poet, gone singer, Ugochi has become extremely versatile and creative with the range of music she is able to perform.
Ugochi’s music has allowed her to travel to many countries in Europe, including Paris, Amsterdam, London, Leeds, Italy as well as Nigeria, Brasil, and Jamaica. She also performed in Dance Africa Chicago 2001 where she received rave reviews by the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun Times. In 2003, legendary Chicago diva Chaka Khan saluted the emerging artist as “someone who will have a long life in the music business,” when she was selected as a semi-finalist on Star Search. Ugochi also wrote the only original song for the critically acclaimed “Red Hot and Riot Compilation,” in honor of the late Fela Ransome Kuti and global AIDS awareness. The song, So Be It, was performed by R&B star Kelis.
Thanks to the underground success of her debut album project appropriately titled “African Buttafly,” Ugochi has currently completed her sophomore album project, A.S.E. (Afro Soul Effect) that is sure to be another word, sound wonder. Illinois Entertainer Magazine hails her as an urban singing phenomenon, a rising star with reach far beyond her city block. Ugochi is the next independent artist to watch as she soars to her rightful place in music history, eventually bridging the diasporic gap while taking in the sights and sounds of the world.