Sydney Onayemi

Abayomi Sydney Onayemi (3 November 1937 – 1 May 2016[1]), also known as Big Brother Sydney, was a Nigerian-born Swedish disc jockey.[2]

Sydney Onayemi
Sydney Onayemi.jpg
Mid-1990s snapshot of Onayemi
Abayomi Sydney Onayemi

Lagos, Nigeria

His other name "Abayomi" means "he brings me joy and happiness" in the Yoruba language.[3] Onayemi came to Sweden in 1962 to study finance at the prestigious Stockholm School of Economics. After two years he had to drop out of school due to lack of money.[4] In order to pay his bills he started working at restaurants, mainly cleaning bathrooms at the Strands Maritime. Eventually he started deejaying soul, and later funk and disco, music that was fairly new to Sweden.[5] He also sang along to the tracks, added maracas and other live percussions.[6] In 1972 he opened his own discothèque Big Brother.

He opened his fourth discothèque Confetti in 1984, a gay discothèque, and also worked as resident DJ at various other discothèques throughout the years. In between he also opened the discothèques "Knattedisco" and "1984".[7]

In 2010 he came out of retirement for a onetime event at the Loveboat 12 club, celebrating the Disco era.[8]


He was largely credited as introducing the two turntable style of deejaying from the United States and Jamaica to Scandinavia.[9] He has also been credited for introducing Swedish 1980s new wave and synthpop acts like Ratata, Mauro Scocco and Lustans Lakejer to funk music according to Lustans Lakejer vocalist Johan Kinde and nightclub entrepreneur Joakim Langer.[10][11]

In a 2012 radio documentary, Swedish National Radio named him the nation's first superstar Disc Jockey.[12]

Personal lifeEdit

He retired and lived in the Östermalm[13][14] neighbourhood of Stockholm.


  1. ^ SVT: Big Brother Sydney död (Swedish)
  2. ^ Gudmundson, Per (July 28, 2008). "We can pick up the Garbage ourselves". Svenska Dagbladet (in Swedish). Retrieved July 26, 2014.
  3. ^ "Abayomi". mybabyname. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
  4. ^ Gudmundson, Per (18 July 2008). "Vi kan plocka upp skräpet själva | SVD Ledare". Svenska Dagbladet.
  5. ^[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "Facts about discounted rates and Sydney Onayemi" (in Swedish). COPYRIOT. April 30, 2008. Archived from the original on May 7, 2008. Retrieved July 26, 2008.
  7. ^ "Frontface Magazine - 0- & 80-tals klubben LOVEBOAT flyttade ned på Berns golv med Big Brother Sydney som affischnamn, sid 1".
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-04-15. Retrieved 2012-02-16.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-05-07. Retrieved 2008-07-26.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-04-15. Retrieved 2012-02-16.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ Gudmundson, Per (30 March 2008). "1980-talet startade med 1984 | SVD Ledare". Svenska Dagbladet.
  12. ^[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ "Discjockey won the Landlord: Sydney Onayemi may live in his own apartment" (PDF) (in Swedish). October 17, 2006. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-07-11. Retrieved 2012-02-16.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External linksEdit