Point Less

by Ola Onabulé

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about

British-Nigerian singer/songwriter Ola Onabulé presents Point Less, his latest studio album, released worldwide on Friday 30 August.

Onabulé has built an enviably solid music career through a relentless schedule both in the recording studio and as an international touring performer. He has always been interested in crossing cultural and musical boundaries. The emotion and virtuosity in his three-and-a-half octave baritone voice channels his poignant storytelling, which has given life to previous studio works exploring his Nigerian roots, his Western upbringing, family life, and musical influences ranging from jazz to soul, world, and pop.

An ever-present theme in all his creative output, Onabulé’s views on social injustice become the focus of this latest release, with an intensity and boldness reminiscent of Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On. The 14 original tracks on Point Less tell tales of violence, immigration, xenophobia, betrayal, and dignity, at once celebrating life and warning the social forces threatening it. In these songs, the artist ponders on our contemporary lack of historical memory which allows mistrust and fear to rule; asks philosophical questions about violence; reflects on what real power is: force or spirituality; tries to depict true love beyond all simple stereotypes; takes inspiration by Kipling’s poem “We and They” to try and understand the notion of “the other”.

Following Onabulé’s critically acclaimed 2015 recording, It’s The Peace That Deafens, with its strong musical and thematic connections to Nigeria, Point Less once again offers an insight into the songwriter’s fiercely independent artistic and entrepreneurial world.

In an independent career spanning more than 20 years, Ola has performed at many of the most respected international jazz festivals including Montreal, Vancouver, San Sebastian, Istanbul, Washington, and Umbria, as well as at concert halls and Jazz clubs worldwide, building and consolidating a reputation with audiences globally. He has presented music from his albums with his quartet/quintet as well as with much larger ensembles of big bands and symphonic orchestras, such as the WDR Big Band of Cologne, the SWR Big Band of Stuttgart, and the Danish Radio Big Band, Copenhagen, and the Big Band Jazz Y Mexico in Mexico City.

Onabulé’s reach is global connecting with audiences worldwide through his soulful voice and his elegant appearance. Whether live on stage or on record, he gives a thoughtful interpretation of his experiences and the world around him, with music crafted with meticulous attention to detail in his arrangements and production.

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released August 30, 2019

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"Ola possesses a stunning voice of enormous range and emotional clout ..beautifully clear and appealingly textured".

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Track Name: Throwaway Notion
Throwaway Notion
Ola Onabule

Comfortably broken
On abdicated throne
Selectively outspoken
Clutching what's no more owned

Broken bits of rules for one and all
Sharpened for that lonely crawl
It's not decline, we call it a dignified fall
Then race that to the bottom, Oh oh!

Let’s burn Arcadia, throw away da nation
Wake all it's dreamers,
Fleece it’s shackled till sheep
Turn upside down all it stood up to be,
Throwaway notion, our new found destiny

Intolerant of difference
That built for what we stand
We'll threaten all existence
And bite the very hand

Raise the threshold never raise the bar
Give that plenty owning few
Over do excess, then take it way too far
sell what’s leftover to whom it harms most, Oh oh!

Let’s burn Arcadia, throw away da nation
Wake all it's dreamers,
Fleece it’s shackled till sheep
Turn upside down all it stood up to be,
Throwaway notion, our new found destiny

If the future comes calling asking what we did
We’ll just say we got rid of the things it needs
Possibility, opportunity, destiny….

Let’s burn Arcadia, throw away da nation
Wake all it's dreamers,
Fleece it’s shackled till sheep
Turn upside down all it stood up to be,
Throwaway notion, our new found destiny

So to be placed on history’s rubbish heap
Throwaway notion is the way we should be


Ad Libs out
Track Name: The Old Story
The Old Story
Ola Onabule 2018

Owo pupa, O wo aso dudu
Oju fun fun, Oso kun morun

Every night, tormented by apparitions,
In forms that moved like an ancient masquerade,
Bloodied vizards whisper: "These are not delusions, No...
Just the just deserts of past deeds that overstayed"
I Hear them cry

We don't do scot free.
No checking out, doubting what will be
The dance presages all of we
Cursed generations will repeat
till in lock step with history's beat...
We'll tell the old story:

Owo pupa, O wo aso dudu
Oju fun fun, Oso kun morun

As I dim his lights, they shine a dawning,
This promised land of beginnings, delivered his end
And from that revelation I divined a meaning, I...
Nurture a truth starved of meaning, A lie that pretends
He heard me cry

I don't do victim but why
Must I exist, just to tell a man
I must prepare him to die
I planned to live, not live the plan
I try, but never do all I can
Trapped in the old story

Owo pupa, O wo aso dudu
Oju fun fun, Oso kun morun

As I dim his lights, they shine a dawning,
This promised land of beginnings, delivered his end
And from that revelation I divined a meaning, I...
Nurture a truth starved of meaning, A lie that pretends
He heard me cry

Owo pupa, O wo aso dudu
Oju fun fun, Oso kun morun

Ad Libs out…
Track Name: Point Less
POINTLESS
Ola Onabule 2018

Pointless, is the point of it all,
To hold you down where you fall,
On the fragments, of a dream, you saw come true.
But wasn't meant for you.

Point less, those shattered fingers of blame,
You were never in their game
Like the echo, of a lie, you tell yourself.
When no one's there to hear,
I am pointless

Naked in leaden rain,
Raised by betrayal’s pain,
Watch the children come enrolling,
Down degradation’s drain,
Gouged out of hollow frames
All too soon, they’ll come to see hope's...

Pointless, is the point of it all,
To hold you down where you fall,
On the fragments, of a dream, you saw come true.
But wasn't meant for you.

Point less, those shattered fingers of blame,
You were never in their game
Like the echo, of a lie, you tell yourself.
When no one's there to hear,
I am pointless

Red, white and blue, her ghosts
Lives that once mattered most,
Locked in hearts, too late for houses
Ruthless this ebb and flow
Uneasy status quo
Far too late, she knows that love is…

Pointless, is the point of it all,
To hold you down where you fall,
On the fragments, of a dream, you saw come true.
But wasn't meant for you.

Point less, those shattered fingers of blame,
You were never in the game
Like the echo, of a lie, you tell yourself.
When no one's there to hear,
I am pointless

With pyrrhic advantage,
And reason held hostage
By counterpoint,
The victor seems victim
If truth lies beside him
On our worlds disjoint

What you went looking for?
Is what’s missing inside you
You couldn’t see it,
But we knew it’s all ver when,
That little baby just watched her daddy die
Oh no, oh no,
you all saw it but you just walked on by
Track Name: And Yet
And Yet
Ola Onabule 2018

Staring down a barrel again
Staring down a barrel again

Don't blow Mister, Big controller, do the rags bother
Maybe I could lose the hoodie for ya
Calm down will ya, Don't get triggered, Keep your cool holstered
We all know you wield the rod of power

Just speak clearer, Never louder, I just want to re-
dress the balance in survival's favour
Drag breath deeper, stop, consider, how could we differ
If the past has bound our fates forever...

...more... than forever more,
like our bones of contention lining beds of the ocean
...more... to fade never more
Like stains on the cotton that enshroud the forgotten

I couldn't be braver, Faster or stronger… And yet
I'm staring down a barrel again
I couldn't be gentler, studied and lettered… And yet
I'm staring down a barrel again

What’s up with ya, Why so bitter, What’s enough for ya
Where's the part where someone else gets better
Have no fear, You're in the clear, No one's coming for ya
If that's why you cocked that happy finger

I'm aiming elsewhere, what dya care, Please don't end me here
Just so you fulfil that deadly quota
Exhale slower, then consider, how do we differ
If the past has bound our fates forever...

...more... than forever more,
like our bones of contention lining beds of the ocean
...more... to fade never more
Like stains on the cotton that enshroud the forgotten

I couldn't be braver, Faster or stronger… And yet
I'm staring down a barrel again
I couldn't be gentler, studied and lettered… And yet

If I was a leader that never made drama, You guessed
I’d be staring down some barrel again
And if I’d been falling, I shouldn’t start rising, or foreign and winning
Before way too long I’d be staring down a barrel again
Track Name: Exit Wound
Exit Wound
Ola Onabule 2018

Ti le, le le nyo

I know nights surrender to dawns
As in hackneyed 'silver lining' songs
Not when grief mauls your heart
Abandons you on the path
To where that faith you lost was.

Be strong, pick your heart up, survive
Lucky, alone, but alive,
Though all those you’d lived for
Stood no chance past that door
Luck sure ain’t what it once was.

I'd die to un-dream my reality,
And wake, running free.
I’d kill for unfettered humanity
Murder each sin,
That conspired to break me...

Don't send me all your thoughts and prayers
If they make it, they'll be no use here.
Too late has come too soon
Now I'm just an exit wound
Other side of the truth of what we are...

Vulnerable yet the sum of all fears,
Tolerable as long as no where near
No emergency room
This side of an exit wound

Someday, what we were, will return,
Reclaim us from apathy's concern
Shades of lighter heartache,
Naiveté to awake,
On old battle fields

New blood may assail the old status quo
To wash it away,
A force wielding powers they'll never know,
Pray they prevail,
but if they don't then

Don't send me all your thoughts and prayers
If they make it, they'll be no use here.
Too late has come too soon
Now I'm just an exit wound
Other side of the truth of what we are...

Vulnerable yet the sum of all fears,
Tolerable as long as No where near
No emergency room
This side of an exit wound


Ti le, le le nyo
Track Name: What The Heck
What The Heck
Ola Onabule

We go through, never go round
Always headed up, we don't do down
Oh yeah, everyday's a win, Losing is a sin,
Born to rule that higher ground

We never stop, We don't know how
We never change, No way, Not now!
Oh yeah, hope is for the weak, losers lucky streak
A dream is but a broken vow

Okay sometimes , We do at times,
Lose all that we held with our arms,
To murdered meaning.
Kings of new climes, turned slave to crimes
Rolling into sight from the past, slowly reckonings
We have...

And the tears from our eyes
flow to hearts long gone to seed
But we never sow love,
what the heck are we crying for.

Off to plant that flag,
Where we left those kids to bleed,
But we never grow peace,
what the heck are we dying for...


We go hard, or we go home
We get it done, locked in the zone.
Oh yeah we never compromise, don't apologise
Lead it all or stand alone.

We win big gain, we fear no pain
Don't be the target when we're taking aim
Yes, our goal is never missed, foolish to resist,
Be sure before you play our game

Maybe sometimes , We can at times,
Trade in what we get from our arms,
For murdered meaning.
Gods in our time, turned pawns to crimes
Rolling into sight from the past, brutal reckonings
We have…

And the tears from our eyes
flow to hearts long gone to seed
But we never sow love,
what the heck are we crying for.

Off to plant that flag,
Where we left those kids to bleed,
But we never grow peace,
what the heck are we dying for…
Dying for , what is more
What’s worth living for!



Tears from our eyes flow to
hearts long gone to seed
But we never sow love,
what the heck are we crying for.

Off to plant that flag,
Where we left those kids to bleed,
But we never grow peace,
what the heck are we dying for...

But if we meant to do that
what the heck we been waiting for...
When it’s easier than
kicking down an open door
Track Name: Ballad Of The Star Crossed
Ballad Of the Star Crossed
Ola Onabule 2018

Don't you let go
Just to be free of their world
There's no us beyond the veil
Of this woe
And if you fade, right where you fall
That's all they'll tell of our tale

Far too late I see, what was, ever will be
Help was never gonna come,
From those who create it’s need

I dreamt we broke the code,
Along a bloodless road
But where you lie, that quest will die
along with all its hope, less you...

Hang on, hold fast the light,
Beg life linger, till memories fade
And sorrow floods my days

Won't you please hang on,
Lets cheat our tragedy out of the deal it's made
Please find a way to stay

How did we come so far and end at the start,
Hunted by the foolish fears
That others are haunted by

When all here's said and done
The last word is their gun's
There in that might, the twisted right
That's dimmed your precious light, less you…

Hang on, hold fast the light,
Beg life linger, till memories fade
And sorrow floods my days

Won't you please hang on,
Lets cheat our tragedy out of the deal it's made
Please find a way to stay

Don't you let go
Just to be free of their world
There's no us beyond the veil
Of this woe
And if you fade, right where you fall
That's all they'll tell of our tale

Choruses and ad libs out
Track Name: I Knew Your Father
I Knew Your Father
Ola Onabule 2018

I knew your father, well kinda sorta
simply got caught in the fray, stolen away,
Pain must be murder

I hear your mother , Pulled back the cover
Over the secrets of lies, and the truth dies,
Without it’s camera

We watched a world watching on
At bewildered stupor
Nought to do for
Kin clinging on
United in these states of

Cold fear, burn of the brand, severed hand dealer
Old fear, cull of the clan, studded man killer

I knew your father, unafraid fighter
Doing the best that he knew, keeping it true
Tryin’ to do better

That such a brother, had no protector,
Would have no-body to fight, none but his wife
out of his corner,

A Headless world lurches on
With bewildered stupor
Stoop and cheer your —
war raging on
Where each soldier fights against stone

Cold fear, burn of the brand, severed hand dealer
Old fear, cull of the clan, studded man killer

We watched a world watching on
At bewildered stupor
Nought to do for
Kin clinging on
United in these states of fear lurching on
With bewildered stupor
Stoop and cheer your —
war raging on
Where each soldier fights against stone

Cold fear, burn of the brand, severed hand dealer
Old fear, cull of the clan, studded man killer
Ad lib...
Track Name: Suru Lere
Suru Lere
Ola Onabulé 2018

Lets go to Suru Lere,
It's far, but won't feel a long way
Pay attention, it dwells in your heart
You were of Suru Lere,
Before the past pulled today's seams apart

Patience is waiting's one gain
Why waste it waiting in vain
Still clinging wide eyed to pledges unmade
Come back to Suru Lere,
Naked and human, and no more afraid

Disquiet and presentiments
Immediately fly away, oh far away
Celebrate, in your element
Get stronger each passing day, day by day
Breathe, when you breathe,
Soon you'll live, not barely survive
Soon you'll feel alive

You can't go to Suru Lere
I guess I've been talking grand,
Here's where he fell, here you'll make your last stand
You'll build a Suru Lere
All of your own on this sleepless land
Track Name: Tender Heart
Tender Heart

Ola Onabulé 2018

Tender Heart, careful how you ache,
Don't look down, don't look round
Weave an art, of those smiles you'd forsake
Seems there's no one you can call
No outstretched arms to break your fall,
When those you show scars that you bear
Say your story's no longer there
But solace in despair
Brought all this on your tender heart.

Tender Heart, Here's a torch for you
Do you stay and fight or merge into night
It's your path, light a way to the truth,
You might be providences choice,
Go Be the future we'll rejoice,
Quell discoveries dragged from the mire
Only love can free and inspire
Calm that raging fire
That burns within your tender heart

solo…

Seems there's no one you can call
No outstretched arms to break your fall,
When those you show scars that you bear
Say your story's no longer there
But solace in despair
Brought all this on your tender heart.

Ad libs out…
Track Name: Conceive It
Conceive It
Ola Onabulé 2018

Talking about the way things be….

Can you conceive it?
A world where a guardian angel, steadily takes aim
At our baby’s deadly toy, primed for the end game
With gods, in camouflage, murdering the old shame

And they'll conceal it,
Not with loud words, of an enemy, but with gold silence
Of a cold society, hardened to violence
Where to speak of unity only makes no sense.

And unreason grinds coarse words to fine
Stench of anger suffocates young minds

Oh I know you struggle to believe it,
Still can’t see it
But your brain quite quickly will concede it
You’ll conceive
It’s how things already be!

The lie that's believed is,
long ago was for them, that bastion of safeness
The main goal of the cause, return to that greatness
By wrenching hope from claws, of dreamers till stateless

So you might perceive this,
As a tale meant to foretell what you will soon hear
They’ll be all they can, when you can no longer
You're short of ideal, ideal is you’re not here

Where delirium drives dissent benign
your continuum becomes broken line

Oh I know you struggle to believe it,
Still can’t see it
But your brain quite quickly will concede it
You’ll conceive
It’s how things already be!

How can I conceive it, when I can't believe it
Aaaaaahhhh

Open up your eyes and see
It’s already happening.
It’s how things already.
Track Name: So They Say
So They Say
Ola Onabule 2018

So they say, is a thing they say,
When they say things they should not say,
As to declare it the subtle way,
While hoping you will be just as they
Are choosing to say

Say, filling the world with the things they say
Yeah, shaping your world out of things they say
Oh, for all those tuned in to our hear say
Oh, We say the things that they'll come to say

So astounded to hear what you’d heard of me
Are things I can't believe you’re inclined to believe
Makes it easy to say what they say of you is true,
When facts are few, you’ll stoke a brew, of myth’s anew

So they say, is a thing they say,
When they say things they should not say,
As to declare it the subtle way,
While hoping you will be just as they
Are choosing to say

Say, filling the world with the things they say
Yeah, shaping your world out of things they say
Oh, for all those tuned in to our hear say
Oh, We say the things that they'll come to say

Clutch a bag close full of fearful streets you crossed,
I'll perceive of you my preconceptions worst,
In the absence of a presence of a shred of truth,
With facts are few, I'll stoke a brew, of myth’s anew

So they say, is a thing they say,
When they say things they should not say,
As to declare it the subtle way,
While hoping you will be just as they
Are choosing to say

Solo

So they'll say, they've heard people say
You’re not like us in anyway
Then they'll say, we don't mean to cause dismay
You’re not an equal us, but a lower other we call

‘they’, filling the world with the things they say
Yeah, shaping your world out of things they say
Oh, for all those tuned in to our hear say
Oh, We say the things that they'll come to say


Ad libs
You accountable for each of all of you
Me indictable for everything we do
One and all exemplars and inculpable
So they say, these are the things they say…
Track Name: Pas Famille
PAS FAMILLE
Ola Onabulé 2018

These days the world seems out of kilter
I don't know, which way up is.
I saw you stare into the mirror
Yet miss our, fate's what yours is.
Then you say kneeling down is
As much of a crime, as standing up is

Grind that dirt, into the grain and,
Rake that hurt, across the pain and,
Saying what ought, is just the same as
What it's not, And more's the shame, where...

Pas famille,
Don't make like you're my brother,
Sail on to your merrily,
Once you sell me down the river

Betrayal, is a roulette wheel
That makes a vixen outta karma
As it turns, it comes around
To afflict its hapless dealer
Your self loathing is unbound,
So you're ever Pas famille

You know the things your kinfolk need,
But bring them barbarity.
Who traumatized you without heed
You yield to ab-normality
We've all been where you've been,
But treat each other with fidelity

Still you cheered, at spirits broken
With them sneered, at truths unspoken,
One fine day, You'll find your way,
Back home to stay, But until then you're...

Pas famille,
Don't make like you're my brother,
Sail on to your merrily,
Once you sell me down the river

Betrayal, is a roulette wheel
That makes a vixen outta karma
As it turns, it comes around
To afflict its hapless dealer…
Track Name: You Can't Depend On Love
You Can’t Depend On Love
Ola Onabulé 2018

You can't rely on hope
First it's lost, then it fades.
Until you find a soul to give some to
You'll find,
You can't rely on hope,

People, are not what they used to be,
They seem to have no use for people,
Empty, is something to fill lives with,
Replacing faith with fear, the new faithful
As long as someone must lose
It’s going to be a race no one wins
Some kinda victory it's bound to be
if the vanquished is...
your brother or his neighbour or her sister's fellow man

You can't rely on hope
First it's lost, then it fades
Until you find a soul to give some to
You'll find,
You can't rely on hope,

People, can't seem to see any one
Before they place a worth on people
Difference, plays the deciding hand
In the game of divide the vulnerable
But if no one gets out alive
Why work so hard to keep another down
Some kinda difference it's going to make
if the trampled is...
your brother or his neighbour or her sister's fellow man

You can't rely on hope
It gets lost, then it fades
Until you find a soul to give some to
You'll find,
You can't rely on hope,

You can't depend on love,
First it’s blind and then it wanes
Until you find a heart give yours to
You'll find,
You can't rely on, I'd never bet on, You can't depend on love.

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