Review by Jade Gadd.
Obaro Ejimiwe – better known by his stage name, Ghostpoet – was raised moving around London, Coventry, Nigeria and Dominica. This mixed heritage and cocktail of cultures growing up has led to his music having an unusual flavour – whilst his lyrics can have strong political motives, his melancholy melody alone gives an impression of the world. His lyrics are often hard to decipher; I asked a mixed group of people what they thought of his music and most said they couldn’t understand the lyrics, which detracted from the music itself.
In his new album Dark Days + Canapés, Ghostpoet possibly explores darker themes of life such as sins and drug use. I can’t, however, be certain, as I am yet to be able to understand many of the lyrics. But for now let’s put to one side my own ability to understand the lyrics, as luckily I can rely on others’ views in this department. The album will be released on the 18th August through record label Play It Again Sam and may well be the next in a steadily more popular line of Ghostpoet albums.
Many of Ghostpoet’s music videos feature people wandering or running, which is as lax as his musical style. Similarly, this new album uses motifs of running and being lost. The mix of imagery, rhythm and lyrics gives a steady and reliable balance to the music.
Ghostpoet uses melodic talk rap, hip-hop and soul along with his poetry background in a lethargic fashion. It is energising to hear his intelligent and engaging observations.
Personally I don’t think I could sing along to Ghostpoet in a car, and it would probably be best to have friends around whilst listening, just in case the razor-sharp observations proved too painful to handle alone; but I could definitely see this new album being the kind of thing that someone might play on full blast whilst lying on a couch and thinking about the ups and downs of our wavy world. It’s almost like a musical psychiatrist-come-performance poet.