Lanre Dabiri aka eLDee or “eLDee the Don” as he is fondly called, is the founder of Trybe Records. A music producer, songwriter, performing artist, and a qualified architect.
Born and raised in Kaduna, a city in Northern Nigeria, eLDee’s love for music and the arts started at a very young age.
In 1998, eLDee and his high school friend, “Kaboom” teamed up with “Freestyle”, and the group Trybesmen was born. Subsequently, eLDee founded his own independent label (Trybe Records) to support the group, and took the Nigerian music scene by storm with two hits in 1999; “Trybal Marks” and “Shake Bodi”. Trybesmen’s debut album “L.A.G. Style” was a massive hit and still a cult-classic. eLDee, as the head of Trybesmen and Trybe Records, re-engineered what has now become the music genre most call Afro-hip hop/Afro-pop or contemporary Nigerian music. With Trybesmen’s undeniably incredible blend of Afro beat, Reggae, Highlife and hip-hop, and over 78 sold-out shows in one year, it was no surprise that Trybesmen became a force to be reckoned with in Nigeria.
Trybe Records also created a platform for new talent that would help achieve the goal of placing African Hip Hop/African Pop on the international map. Trybe Records boasts of developing successful artists such as Sasha, who won the Kora’s Most Promising Artist Award in 2004 and MTV female artist of 2010, 2Shots, Lequse, olaDele, Timi, and Dr Sid, who is now a member of the “Mo-hits Records” label.
eLDee came up with a collaboration of all the artists on the record label, named them “Da Trybe” and solidified Trybe Records as a force to be reckoned with in the Nigerian Music Industry with hits such as “Work it out” and “Oya” in 2002, and the album “BIG Picture” in 2005. Making a move to the United States in 2002, eLDee recorded a solo album titled “Long Time Coming” and followed up with “Return of the King” in 2006.
“Return of the King” marked the beginning of eLDee's solo career and was very well received earning him various nominations and awards for both videos and songs including the Nigerian Entertainment Award for “Best International Album” in 2007.
eLDee, though currently living between Nigeria and the United States is a household name both in Africa and in the African communities abroad. He has been featured on numerous international radio stations both in Europe, Asia and the USA. Back home in Nigeria, the hit-music playlist is incomplete without eLDee. His personal hits like "Im leaving", “I go yarn”, “Champion”, “African Chiquito”, "big boy", "Ota mi", "One day" and “Bosi Gbangba” have been aired on radio stations all over the world. eLDee has also been featured in countless local and international magazines and newspaper articles and remains one of the most RESPECTED artist/producer out of West Africa, on the international scene.
For over a decade, eLDee has proved to be the most consistent artist/producer in West Africa writing and producing some of the biggest hit songs. His recent collaborations have also established eLDee as the go-to-guy for infectious music and has had all artists in the land (signed and unsigned) seeking his golden touch.
Overall, eLDee has emerged as a multi talented professional. eLDee has worked with various artists of various nationalities, doing various styles, producing amazing music and creating great videos. eLDee has produced and directed numerous videos both for Nigerian and international artists and is able to bring anyone into his world of creativity in an effortless manner.
eLDee’s resume not only brags about his work as an artist, producer and video director, but also as an interactive media genius. His business resume boasts of clients like CNN, D3 Publishing, Hines, Accenture, Andersen, Kimberly Clark, Naruto, Primedia, NBA, UPS, Cartoon Network, Consumer Source, Warner Bros, just to name a few of the fortune 500 companies he has had the opportunity to design and develop for with an Atlanta based firm. eLDee and his colleagues have received numerous national and international awards for design and new media campaigns.
eLDee writes and produces most of his music, and owns all rights to his works through his reign of over a decade. His second solo album “Big Boy” was released early 2009 and was tagged an instant classic. The album includes monster hits such as "Bosi Gbangba" and "Big Boy". The Big Boy album received 17 nominations in different categories of various award shows including best video, best album, best cinematography, hottest single, best album, best artist and 2009 MOBO award nomination for "Best African artist".
eLDee's most recent album, "Is it your money Vol.1" was released on March 6, 2010. The much-anticipated album was a trending topic on twitter for two days as the world awaited the release of the fresh body of work from one of Nigeria's most exciting artists. The album boasts of hits like "Ota mi", "U blow my mind", "Feel good music" and "One day".
eLDee is very passionate about the current state of Nigeria and is one of the very few outspoken Nigerian celebrities when it comes to social issues. His passion is evident in his active involvement in a lot of activities geared toward social change. He is a founding member of the "lightupnigeria" initiative and an active member of the "EnoughisEnough" and “iamlagos” campaigns. eLDee's thirst for sustainability in Nigeria is also evident in his music as with each album, he hammers on real issues and seeks to motivate/inspire the people of the land towards greatness. Such songs include "Which kind life be dis", "I go yarn", and more recently "One day". eLDee hopes to inspire a new generation towards a more sustainable Nigeria through his musical works and social campaigns.
Radio and video charts have been incomplete without eLDee and he still stands as one of the most promising Nigerian artists on the scene today.