Dr. Alban

Alban Uzoma Nwapa (born 26 August 1957), better known by his stage name Dr. Alban, is a Swedish recording artist and producer with his own record label, Dr. Records.[1] His music can best be described as a Eurodance/hip-hop reggae in a dancehall style.[1] He sold an estimated 16 million records worldwide[2][3][4] and is most famous for his worldwide 1992 hit "It's My Life" which was one of the songs from the album One Love.[1]

Dr. Alban
Dr. Alban during a live concert in 2009
Background information
Birth nameAlban Uzoma Nwapa
Born (1957-08-26) 26 August 1957
Oguta, Imo, Colonial Nigeria
OriginStockholm, Sweden
GenresEurodance, hip hop, reggae, dancehall
Occupation(s)Musician
Years active1980s–present
LabelsDr. Records, Ariola
Associated actsLeila K, Denniz Pop, Kikki Danielsson, Sash!, Haddaway
Websitedralban.net

Biography

Dr. Alban was born Alban Uzoma Nwapa into a middle-class family of 10 children in Oguta, Imo state, Nigeria. He is Igbo.[1] He had his secondary education at Christ The King College, Aba, Nigeria and spent most of his youth in his hometown Oguta. At age 23, he traveled to Sweden to study dentistry.[1] To finance his studies, Dr. Alban became a DJ at the Stockholm club Alphabet Street.[1] Very quickly his name became widely known, especially since Dr. Alban often sang to the records he put on the turntables. DJ René Hedemyr discovered him. Alban finished his studies and even opened his own dentistry practice, keeping his DJing as a lucrative sideline.

In 1990, he met Denniz Pop from the SweMix label and, together with Denniz and rap artist Leila K, released his first record "Hello Afrika". Alban Uzoma Nwapa took the stage name Dr. Alban, a nod to his dental studies. His debut album Hello Afrika included hits like "Hello Afrika" and "No Coke", both of which ended up being million-selling singles.[1] The album itself was quite successful and earned him gold certification awards in numerous markets including Germany (for sales of over 250,000 units), Austria (25,000) and Switzerland (25,000).[5][6][7]

One year later, this success was surpassed by his second album One Love. The album contained European hit singles such as "It's My Life" (which was used as background music for a Tampax advert) and "Sing Hallelujah". The single "It's My Life" reached No.1 in Israel, Austria, the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany and No.2 in Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom.[8][9][10] While the song "It's My Life" went platinum in Germany (for sales of over 500,000 units), in the Netherlands (75,000), it sold over two million copies in Europe.[1][11][12] The album in turn reached the top of the album chart in Austria and entered the top five in Switzerland, also reaching No.6 in Germany.[13][14] The album went gold in Germany (for sales of over 250,000 units) and platinum both in Austria and Switzerland (both 50,000).[6][15][16]

Alban's third album Look Who's Talking!, released in 1994, hit the top 10 in numerous markets including Germany, Switzerland and Austria.[14][17] The album was the first to earn Alban a gold certification award in his home country of Sweden for sales of over 50,000 units.[18]

Dr. Alban founded his own record label Dr. Records, whereon he released his 1996 album, Born in Africa. The album was unable to match the success of his previous releases. It only reached No.12 in Finland, while it peaked at No.37 in Switzerland and Sweden, No.52 in Germany, No.41 in Austria.[14][19] The single "Born in Africa" went to number 1 in Finland.

In 1997, Alban released the compilation album The Very Best of 1990–1997, which only charted in Austria, Sweden and Germany. In 1997, Alban also released the studio album Believe, which peaked at No.27 in Sweden, No.30 in Finland and No.41 in Austria.[20] In late 1998, Dr. Alban released a single with German-based artist Sash!, entitled "Colour the World", which experienced moderate chart success in Europe.[21]

In 2000, Alban released the single "What Do I Do", which charted only in Sweden at No.43; it spent only two weeks on the charts there.[22] The album Prescription was a flop as it failed to chart anywhere.

In 2007, after years of absence from the music scene, Dr. Alban released the studio album Back to Basics. It was sold on the Internet only through Dr. Alban's official website. In Russia; however, both the physical CDs and cassettes were released.

On February 15, 2014, at the Scandinavium arena in Gothenburg, Dr. Alban teamed up with Jessica Folcker in the third heat of Melodifestivalen 2014 performing last with the song "Around the World" to win the right to represent Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

In 2015, he released the single Hurricane, which failed to enter the European charts.

Discography

Studio albums

Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
SWE
[23]
AUS
[24]
AUT
[25]
FIN
[26]
GER
[27]
NL
[28]
NOR
[29]
SWI
[30]
Hello Afrika 62311438
One Love
  • Released: 4 May 1992
  • Label: Ariola Records
  • Formats: LP, CD, Cassette
1511620153
Look Who's Talking!
  • Released: 25 March 1994
  • Label: Ariola Records
  • Formats: LP, CD, Cassette
119871728138
Born in Africa
  • Released: 9 April 1996
  • Label: Ariola Records
  • Formats: LP, CD, Cassette
3741125237
I Believe
  • Released: 1 October 1997
  • Label: Metrovynil (EAMS Lesser)
  • Formats: LP, CD, Cassette
274130
Prescription
  • Released: 26 November 2001
  • Label: Rough Trade/Dr. Records
  • Formats: CD, Cassette
Back to Basics
  • Released: 13 November 2008
  • Label: Haring Records/Dr. Records
  • Formats: Digital download, CD
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released.

Compilation albums

Title Album details Peak chart positions
SWE
[23]
AUT
[25]
GER
[27]
The Very Best of 1990–1997 383866

Singles (as lead artist)

Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album
SWE
[32]
AUS
[24]
AUT
[25]
FIN
[33]
GER
[34]
NL
[35]
NOR
[29]
SPA
[36]
SWI
[37]
UK
[38]
US
[39]
"Hello Afrika"
(feat. Leila K.)
1990 7180122573 Hello Afrika
"No Coke" 121237663
"U & Mi" 1991 2011614159
"(Sing Shi-Wo-Wo) Stop the Pollution" 3616313
"It's My Life" 1992 14315112112288 One Love
"One Love" 1997714101145
"Sing Hallelujah" 1993 6572468416
"Look Who's Talking" 1994 2313442655 Look Who's Talking!
"Away from Home" 2492122254552642
"Let the Beat Go On" 1718623318191
"Sweet Dreams"
(feat. Swing)
1995 1244459 Non-album single
"This Time I'm Free" 323127351132 Born in Africa
"Born in Africa" 1996 1131147
"Hallelujah Day" 303512
"It's My Life '97"
(feat. Sash!)
1997 18 The Very Best of 1990–1997
"Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (Carolina)" 6 I Believe
"Mr. DJ" 218703
"Long Time Ago" 551515
"Feel the Rhythm" 1998 5613
"What Do I Do" 2000 43 Prescription
"Because of You" 2002
"Work, Work" 2003 1319 Non-album single
"Habibi"
(feat. Melissa)
2008 Back to Basics
"We Love The 90's"
(feat. Haddaway)
Non-album singles
"Freedom" 2012
"Loverboy"
"It's My Life 2014" 2014 3929
"Around the World"
(feat. Jessica Folcker)
52
"Hurricane" 2015
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released.
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
SWE
[41]
FIN
[42]
FRA
[43]
GER
[34]
NL
[44]
SWI
[45]
UK
[46]
"Papaya Coconut"
(Kikki Danielsson feat. Dr. Alban)
1998 22 Non-album singles
"Colour the World"
(Sash! feat. Dr. Alban)
1999 5439693915
"Sing Hallelujah (New Version)"
(Yamboo feat. Dr. Alban)
2005 12 Okama de Mapouka
"Chiki Chiki"
(Starclub feat. Dr. Alban)
2006 Non-album singles
"It's My Life (Don't Worry)"
(Chawki feat. Dr. Alban)
2014 187
"Good to You"
(Basic Element feat. Dr. Alban)
2016
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released.

Producers

In the British TV series Little Britain, Dr. Alban is the name of the doctor whom Vicky Pollard visits when she is pregnant.[47]

References

  1. "Allmusic: Dr. Alban (Biography)". Allmusic. Retrieved 19 March 2011.
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 August 2013. Retrieved 6 September 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 13 September 2012. Retrieved 6 September 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 18 June 2013. Retrieved 6 September 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Dr. Alban; 'Hello Afrika')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 19 March 2011.
  6. "Gold & Platin". IFPI (Austria). Archived from the original on 11 May 2011. Retrieved 19 March 2011.
  7. "AWARDS 1991". IFPI (Switzerland). Hung Medien. Retrieved 19 March 2011.
  8. "DR. ALBAN: IT'S MY LIFE (SONG)". Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 March 2011.
  9. "Charts.de: Dr. Alban (Singles)". Charts.de. Retrieved 19 March 2011.
  10. "The Official Charts Company: Dr. Alban". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 19 March 2011.
  11. "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Dr. Alban; 'It's My Life')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 19 March 2011.
  12. "Dr. Alban – It's my life". NVPI. Retrieved 19 March 2011.
  13. "Dr. Alban: One Love (Album)". Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 March 2011.
  14. "Charts.de: Dr. Alban (Albums)". Charts.de. Retrieved 19 March 2011.
  15. "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Dr. Alban; 'One Love')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 19 March 2011.
  16. "AWARDS 1992". IFPI (Switzerland). Hung Medien. Retrieved 19 March 2011.
  17. "Dr. Alban: Look Who's Talking Now (Album)". Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 March 2011.
  18. "Guld & Platina 1987–1988" (PDF) (in Swedish). International Federation of the Phonographic Industry – Sweden. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 May 2012. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
  19. "Dr. Alban: Born in Africa (Album)". Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 March 2011.
  20. "Dr. Alban: Believe (Album)". Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 March 2011.
  21. "Dr. Alban: Colour the World (Single)". Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 March 2011.
  22. "Dr. Alban: What Do I Do (Single)". Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 March 2011.
  23. "Dr. Alban: Album / Song Chart-History for Sweden". Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 March 2011.
  24. Australian (ARIA Chart) peaks:
  25. "Dr. Alban: Album / Song Chart History for Austria". Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 March 2011.
  26. "Dr. Alban: Album / Song Chart History for Finland". Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 March 2011.
  27. "Charts.de: Dr. Alban (Albums)". Charts.de. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
  28. "Dr. Alban: Album / Song Chart History for Holland". Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 March 2011.
  29. "Dr. Alban: Album / Song Chart History for Norway". Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 March 2011.
  30. "Dr. Alban: Album Chart History for Switzerland". Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 March 2011.
  31. "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Dr. Alban)" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 20 March 2011.
  32. Peak positions for Swedish Singles:
  33. Peak positions for Finland:
  34. "Charts.de: Dr. Alban (Singles)". Charts.de. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
  35. Peak positions for Dutch Singles:
  36. Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  37. Peak positions for Swiss Singles:
  38. Peak positions for UK Singles:
  39. "Billboard: Dr Alban (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
  40. Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988-2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  41. Peak positions for Swedish Singles:
  42. "Dr. Alban: Album / Song Chart History for Finland". Hung Medien. Retrieved 31 January 2012.
  43. "Dr. Alban: Album / Song Chart History for France". Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  44. Peak positions for Dutch Singles:
  45. Peak positions for Swiss Singles:
  46. Peak positions for UK Singles:
  47. "Little Britain: Series 1 Episode 6". TV.com.
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