Yes and Yes Sunday Jammers, welcome back. I hope it is all good, peace and shiny with you. It’s part two of our latest trip, a playlist very loosely titled ‘Get Right Sunday’ so hope your Saturday was Big and that you’re not feeling like you’ve been deep fried. Whatever state you’re in, I hope this week’s selection will help ease you back towards a reset and make you ready for the rest of your day.
This week’s offering features an artist who appeared in an earlier Sunday Jams edition and always sparks strong childhood memories for me, a very successful and prolific creator on Afrodisia and label mates with Fela Ransom Kuti. This week he plays a supporting role on one of his own original compositions lending his mellow, raspy, soulful vocals (still smashing it at 79) to this remix that will leave you smiling, reminding you why he was, and still is, a juggernaut of his time; Ebenezer Obey.
Taking the lead on the track is Nigerian singer-songwriter Simi (also known as Simisola Kosoko) featuring Ebenezer Obey, the track is ‘Aimasiko’ - the Headies Remix. The solo Simi version has more of a stripped back ‘Hip Life’ edge whereas on the sound is bigger, rounder with a choral element replacing the backing singers – must point out that each version is equally big. I’ve chosen the Headies remix because of Obey’s part and because it’s got a breezy, warm vibe perfect for ‘Get Right Sunday’ also it shares something in common with last week’s offering ‘Ordinary Joe’ by Terry Callier. Both tracks focus on the hustle of the everyday Joe in the life wheel, Callier’s is edgier filled with complex poetry while ‘Aimasiko’ is framed like a proverb, it talks about having patience with what might seem a confusing world that doesn’t always make things easy or clear; simply put ‘it’s a prayer for your hustle’. Vocally both have this deceptive and easy sensibility that carries along something deeper, profound and beautiful. Musically speaking they go to different places – although they still have jazz notes (to differing degrees) in common. Callier’s track has psychedelic elements whilst ‘Aimasiko’ pays homage to the original sounds of West African highlife coupled with this uplifting, energetic choral feel and turned up loud will make your feet feel light and inspire joy.
I love everything about this track, it’s a perfect blend of old skool meets new cool; Simi is a modern Nigerian musician who understands, and pays homage to, the legends who laid the foundations for modern West African music. Alongside that, she sings in a perfect blend of Yoruba (one of the main languages spoken in Nigeria) and English never losing the sense of who she is, where she comes from and the things that inspire her to sing. Simi has this almost perfect tone that is deep and far reaching without having to showboat – a mark of a brilliant and naturally talented vocalist who lets her singing do the leading. When I hear singers like this I cannot help but think of Agneta and Faltskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad from Abba; both incredible singers with operatic range who could sing anything and make it sound so easy, but try singing along to an ABBA song and you soon realise how ridiculously talented they were; such ease and grace. I think the same can be applied to Simi, who is full of grace, ease and silky honey like tones that travel far out and through you. Then combine that with Obey and it’s a recipe for coolness. Hope you enjoy it and Happy Sunday.