Prince Ayo Manuel
AYO AJISEBUTU A.K.A. PRINCE AYO MANUEL, A NATIVE OF NIGERIA IS THE FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT OF MANSMARK RECORDS. AYO WAS BORN IN ATIJERE ONDO STATE OF NIGERIA IN 1959. HE HAD HIS PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION IN LAGOS THE HEART OF NIGERIA. IN 1986 MR. AJISEBUTU MOVED TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA TO GO TO COLLEGE AND FURTHER HIS MUSICAL AMBITION. UPON ARRIVING IN AMERICA, AYO SET UP MANSMARK RECORDS WITH THE VISION OF BRINGING AFRICAN MUSIC AND CULTURE TO A WIDER AUDIENCE.
Prince Ayo Manuel started his music career as a mobile DJ and event promoter in Lagos, Nigeria. His first album, “Love Candidate,” with his then stage Ayo Manuel, was released on his label MansMark Records in 1983 at the height of the Second Republic in Nigeria. The album voiced his intention to run for office as the Love Candidate (a political statement) and received extensive airplay on the radio and television. Ayo released his second album, “Party Zone,” in 1991 and was distributed by Polygram-Nigeria. His most recent album, “Put On A Smiling Face,” was released in 1996. Prince Ayo a peace activist writes and produces “Afro-Soul,” a hybrid music style that blends traditional African dance songs and Nigerian juju tunes with the American and Caribbean sounds of pop, funk, blues, soul, reggae, and calypso.
Prince Ayo Manuel, The Peace Activist
Prince Ayo Manuel organized several rallies to protest the killing of Nigerian human rights activist Ken Saro-Wiwa. He also played a significant role with other Bay Area human rights activists in the campaign that returned Nigeria to a democratic society. His activities included producing and hosting a clandestine weekly radio program for Voice of Free Nigeria (VoFN). Voice of Free Nigeria was established by the Free Nigeria Movement, a global grassroots effort that was organized to liberate the Nigerian people from the former oppressive military junta. Ayo was a co-founder and board member of the Free Nigeria Movement.
Music Business Education
A specialist in World music, Prince Ayo’s independent world music label has thrived for the past ten years in the U.S. Prince Ayo has been able to successfully engage some of the world music stars on his projects including Youssou N’Dour and Angelique Kidjo. A combination of perseverance, tenacity and commitment to compassion has lead Prince Ayo to be a conscious and competitive force in the World Music industry. Beyond working to generate profits, Prince Ayo’s label, MansMark Records works to capture indigenous voices that would otherwise be neglected, while at the same time supporting community development in Nigeria and the rest of Africa through philanthropic initiatives. Realizing that his unique combination of vision and heart could be a source of inspiration for others, Prince Ayo is sharing his experience, strength and knowledge to the public and the music industry as a lecturer.
- Sustainability of small independent labels: Techniques for effective marketing
- World Music & Africa: Past, Present and The future
- World Music: Honoring the voice of the indigenous-supporting grassroots community development