[Via Brownswood Recordings]
Recently migrated from the capital city of the West Midlands – Coventry – to the southerly climes of London, Ghostpoet looks set to make his mark on 2011. The softly spoken 24 year-old has already won over BBC Radio 1’s foremost tastemaker Gilles Peterson with a handful of off-kilter, loopy electronic ditties blessed with his delightfully rambling musings on modern life. Signing to Peterson’s Brownswood Recordings imprint, a free EP entitled ‘The Sound Of Strangers’ sidled into the public domain in June 2010. Comprising four tracks, three original compositions blessed with playful prose, one remix of A Tribe Called Quest’s ‘Electric Relaxation (Relax Yourself Girl)’… and a feature from left-leaning pop mastermind Micachu, it hit a hungry online audience and earned Ghostpoet a coveted spot in The Guardian’s New Band Of The Day feature as well as glowing recommendations from NME, CMJ, RCRDLBL, URB, XLR8R, Drowned In Sound and The Mercury Prize.
Born and raised somewhere between London, Coventry, Nigeria and Dominica, Obaro admits that his heritage is important to him, but that it hasn’t consciously affected his musical career: “My parents enjoyed listening to music around the house but never really encouraged it as a career. I kind of pursued listening to various sounds late into the night when the house was asleep.” And as for attempting to pinpoint his tastes… it’s hard to gauge when his palette flips from Badly Drawn Boy’s ‘The Hour Of The Bewilderbeast’ (the first CD he ever bought) to the angular dynamics of the UK grime scene via Iggy Pop, Fela Kuti, Radiohead, MF Doom and Squarepusher. This was the music that captured his imagination at university, where Obaro was part of a grime collective: “One of the guys made the beats with Reason, he taught me the basics and I kind of stumbled, bumbled and fumbled my way to the present.”
Dusting himself off, Ghostpoet drops his debut single – ‘Cash & Carry Me Home’ – on 24th January 2011, followed by his album on 7th February 2011. Showcasing Ghostpoet’s loveably ramshackle, but hook-laden productions and his lazy baritone, ‘Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam’ is a neat summation of the MC’s musical journey to date, but also an impressive statement of intent. Don’t sleep on this young, inventive, British MC – he’s destined for greatness.