Sunday, May 22, 2011

Today's record is 'It's Allright', a lovely uplifting vocal by a little-known singer called Kwame Heshimu. In case anyone's wondering, Kwame is the name given in Ghana to boys born on a Saturday, and Heshimu means respect in Kiswahili, so there's a bit of both East and West Africa in this guy's name. 

I found this potted biography on the website of the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, where he's now a visiting professor:

Kwame Heshimu grew in the shadow of the Blue Mountain. Son of a Cuban expatriate, and a mother, descendant of Jamaican maroons, he spent his childhood in one of the most inaccessible communities on the island. His grandfather, a saxophonist with dance bandleader Ray Coburn, frequently accompanied Rastafarian drummers. Kwame not only became enthralled with the music, but with the Rastafarian vocabulary, or Iyaric, an intentionally created dialect of English, reflecting their desire to take forward language and confront Babylon system. His romance with word, sound, and power had begun.

Apart from this, he recorded another 7", the awesome 'Beast Of Burden', a 12" version of 'It's Allright' and an LP called 'Follow I': all of them worth tracking down. As always, hope you enjoy.

No comments: