Ahead of his UK tour, singer-songwriter Ghostpoet speaks with Van Mildert about playing live and how the title of his new album ‘Some Say I So I Say Light’ came to him in a dream.
It has been a busy few years for Obaro Ejimiwe, more commonly known by his musical alter ego ‘Ghostpoet’.
In 2010 he was working as a customer service adviser for an insurance firm in Coventry. Now the genre breaking lyricist is busy last-minute shopping in Tesco before he jets off to Italy for his first solo European tour.
His first album, ‘Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam’, received rave reviews and was rightly nominated for a prestigious Mercury Music Prize.
Obaro’s new album, ‘Some Say I So I say Light’ is released on Monday. A mini-mix of the album can be heard below.
His music continues to be dreamy, almost haze-like as he softly raps about muddling his way through life’s everyday problems.
Where this new album does differ though is in its production. He produced his first album on an old iMac in his bedroom.
This album, produced in a studio, is musically much more accomplished and varied. The different levels and variances of sound are instantly noticeable as are the numerous collaborations.
Obaro’s music has clearly evolved but without losing any of the lyrical appeal that first made him so popular.
We asked him a few questions about his success, the new album, touring and fashion.
How have the last few years been? Looking at your tour schedule you seem incredibly busy?
It’s been a busy few years, there is no doubting that, but it’s what I’m happy doing. Touring can be very rewarding and this will be my first solo tour which adds a little something extra. I can be more creative and it gives me a better opportunity to express who I am.
Your new album is about to be released, what are your hopes for it?
If it does half as well as the last one I’ll be happy with that. For now I’m just hoping the tour goes well. I love going to see live music so hope the people that come to see me enjoy themselves and have a good time. My new single is out and seems to be going down well. Let’s hope it’s a sign of things to come.
Tell us about the new album’s title, where did that come from?
It came to me in a dream of all things. I don’t usually remember my dreams but for some reason this one just stuck in my mind and worked for an album title. It’s all about following my own path, not one that someone is trying to lay out for me.
Who would you say your musical influences are?
Too many to say, I would only end up leaving someone out. Gill Scott, the American soul singer, is one though. She has a song called ‘Golden’ which I referenced in my previous album.
What would you say was your worst fashion faux-pas?
When I was younger, years ago, I bought this long brown jacket from Camden Market. It was massive and I soon realised it wasn’t for me.
What do you look for when buying clothes?
I’m not hugely into my fashion. It’s really all about the fit for me. If it feels comfortable then I’m happy with that.
The UK leg of Ghostpoet’s tour starts on Saturday, May 18th. He plays Sheffield on May 22nd, Newcastle on May 23rd and Glasgow on May 24th. For tickets and info check out Ghostpoet’s website.