The London-hailed singer talks his latest soul-drenched single “Brown Angel” and forthcoming EP “Spectrum”.
It’s no secret that neo-soul is currently one of the biggest genres on the scene right now, with trailblazers Giveon and Miguel championing the wave with slick funk-inspired melodies and silky vocals. Joining the crescendoing wave with his latest single, is Tamaraebi with his old school-tinged single “Brown Angel”. Like beads of sweat on a scorching hot day, the singer’s vocals smoothly ride the slow-moving bass line, catching the echoing 80s-funk keys and soul-drenched guitars along the way. Layering the single with contemporary R&B undertones, bluesy old school elements ripple throughout the calming soundscape and puts us in a hazy trance where soothing waves and empowering lyricism are the focal points.
“It’s been described as a stoner’s love song. The video was directed by Tatenda Jamera,” the singer revealed. “We came up with the concept together. We shot it in an old pub in Peckham at the height of the Black Lives Matter protests last year. I wanted to do something visually that contributed to black art and also celebrated the varied beauty of blackness – from a fuller figured model to really dark-skinned ones. I wanted everyone to enjoy the beauty of blackness in its natural element, no matter what race they were.”
Born in Nigeria’s musical melting pot Lagos, the singer started his career at just two-years-old, joining the choirs of the various Pentecostal churches his mother attended. Allowing him to feel and appreciate a connective power to music, Tamaraebi fell in love with music and began recording soul-pop tunes in a trio. Years later, the singer is now gearing up to release his EP “Spectrum” later this month, and we caught up with the rising star talking his reggae influences, studying law and how he dreams for world domination.
Check out the interview below…
Hey Tamaraebi! How’s lockdown been? Has is affected your creativity in anyway?
Lockdown has been a series of mad experiences but I feel like despite all the madness it was a much-needed reset for mind body and soul! I struggled a lot mentally, money-wise and just generally but I literally feel like a brand new person- in a good way. I discovered the power in silence. And without getting too deep I really needed the silence to get back in touch with myself. Creatively I had ups and downs. I had mad creative spurts and sometimes I would be done out. I just had to take it one day at a time.
What is your earliest memory of music?
My dad has a huge vinyl record player and growing up and I remember him blasting Andre Crouch “I Don’t Know Why” every Sunday without fail. I still love that song!
You studied law for a few years and before venturing into music, what inspired that jump and when was the turning point?
To be real, I only read law to tick that off my to-do list to make my family happy. I always knew I wasn’t going to be a lawyer, I just didn’t know how I would make the switch because the music industry was so foreign and out of reach to me but I knew I had to.
Your family moved around a lot when you were younger, do you think this inspired your music in any way?
It definitely did. I was lucky to experience so many different cultures and personalities and food and sounds so early in life, so it definitely shaped my musical sensibility.
Congratulations on your single “Brown Angel”! What was the creative process like and what inspired the song?
Love for that! It was really organic and enjoyable. I was in the studio with Flotheproducer, he produced the track and Nish Rowe, she helped me write it. We’d been listening to “The Great Gig In the Sky” by Pink Floyd and were inspired by the guitar and vocal solo and that’s how the song was born.
The video is really cool as well, what was filming like?
Thank you! It was a sick experience. We shot it on film and It was directed by Tatenda Jamera and his amazing team. It was a laid back shoot cause I had my peoples Fred Jones and Mary Sho in the video so it was just us doing stuff in front of the camera. I’m very happy with how it turned out.
The tune is lifted from your upcoming EP “Spectrum”, what can you tell us about the project and what can we expect?
Without giving too much away this project for me is about being comfortable with not fitting into any one category and just doing things in your own lane and at your own pace. It’s a melting pot of psychedelic soul, dreamy synth-pop with a sprinkle of reggae influences, hip-hop and R&B, underpinned by a very modern free-flowing, genre-fluid presentation that I call futuristic nostalgia. You can expect sensual melodies and honest lyricism and just laid back feel-good vibes. Oh and more music videos!
Who would you say are your main inspirations?
This is always a hard question cause they are so many and span across mad eras. If I were to say top three right now it would be Prince, OutKast and Tame impala. The list is really long and random and switches up a lot!
What’s next for you? What are you most excited for?
What’s next is World domination if my cunning plan goes to plan. I’ve definitely got more music coming though! More videos as well. I also want to do more live performing, hopefully as things open up that will happen! I’m always thinking of my next song/ next project and so on but I’m learning to be in the present more cos if 2020 taught us anything it’s that nothing is promised! I am really excited for people to get into my music. One of my favourite things is discovering new artists I really like. So I want as many people as possible to get that feeling when they discover me.