Remembering Styl Plus: Nigeria’s now defunct ‘Boys II Men’

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With both boy groups known for their emotional ballads and cappella harmonies, Nigeria’s Styl Plus can be likened to America’s Boys II men.
While Boys II Men gave us hit songs like ‘A song for you’, ‘I’ll make love to you’ and ‘End of the road’, Styl plus gave us songs like ‘Olufunmi’, ‘Runaway’ and ‘Imagine that’.
All bachelors in their 20s and Alumni of FUT Akure, ShiffiTundeYemi and Lanre originally formed the group in 1997. In fact, the name ‘STYL’ came from the first letter of every founding member’s name. Lanre died in 1999, leaving behind ShiffiTunde and Yemi. Singer Zeal joined them afterwards and the group was renamed STYL PLUS.
Styl Plus initially started out singing gospel and inspirational songs but was relatively unknown between 1997 up till the early 2000s. At this point, Yemi decided to call it quits with the group and then came brothers ‘T-Jazz’ and ‘Joey’, joining Styl Plus in 2003.
The brothers were able to add structure to the group, forming a record label called ‘Styl Plus Music’ – guess they were tired of a name change and from this point, Styl Plus began to do magic, pleasing Nigerian music loves from their base in Abuja.
Their songs ‘Olufunmi’ and it’s follow up ‘Runaway’ became instant hits on radio, enveloping the whole country in a frenzy of romance. Their other singles ‘Pour your wine’ and ‘Imagine that’ which came out much later were also fan favourites. Another single ‘Iya Basira’ became a street anthem and the term continues to be used in everyday street parlance.
Following tours and shows that came with their success Styl Plus went on a brief hiatus and returned with ‘4 years’, a song of gratitude saying the group has been together for 4 years without further split or incidence. This was short-lived as Tunde walked out of the group to pursue a solo musical career and since then Styl Plus has been unable to recover from the move. They never made a successful comeback after that.
There were rumours in 2015 that the group plans on getting back together. However, nothing has been heard from them yet.
There’s the belief that the group’s success was short-lived because they refused to move to Lagos which is the entertainment and music capital of Nigeria and Africa
culled from LIM
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