Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial


A well-respected record producer and DJ, Osunlade has become best known as the founder and head of the label Yoruba Records. Born in St. Louis, he took piano lessons, sang in his church choir and played trumpet in his school band. He also acquired a keyboard and started to explore music programming. At 17 Osunlade became a cast member of Sesame Street, also composing music for the series in the late 1980s for Toni Basil. After moving to Los Angeles, Osunlade worked as a record producer for such artists as Patti Labelle, Freddie Jackson, Najee, India.Arie, Gerardo and Eric Benet. By 1999 he had moved to New York, where he started the Yoruba label. He has since worked with Roy Ayers, Salif Keita and Cesaria Evora, among other artists. In his own solo career, he cut albums titled Aquarian Moon and Elements Beyond, and made Paradigm for the Soul Jazz label. Osunlade is considered a top producer of house music that is influenced by soul, funk and his spiritual beliefs in the African religion of Ifa.