Artwork by @mystupidsketchbook
WHO is he?
Lookman Adekunle Salami started playing guitar a few years ago, when he received an acoustic as a present for his 21st birthday. He also plays harmonica, a choice inspired by Bob Dylan, “and a bit of piano”.
Obsessed with cinema from an early age he wrote his first script when he was seven. “I still plan to film it,” admits “then from there I got into writing poetry, then I wrote music in my head. I just loved rock stars and the romantic idea of expressing yourself that way. But no one got me an instrument because no one could afford it. But then when my friend gave me that guitar, I just started learning how to play it by writing songs.”
L.A. Salami’s debut album Dancing With Bad Grammar is out August 26th on Rob Da Bank’s Sunday Best. L.A. worked with engineer Dan Cox and producer Matt Ingram at Urchin Studios in Hackney, London. The recording process lasted one week, “I wanted to get it live; I’m not interested in the tracking thing”.
WHAT is he singing about?
“I want to portray modern life using the past as a vehicle. I love Sixties and Seventies music, that’s where my heart is. But I don’t want [my music] to sound of the past, I want it to speak of now. Any great art does that – acknowledges the past but lives only in the present. If I can do that, it’s a job well done.”
WHERE did he grow up?
He spent his childhood between a foster family in Kent and his single-parent mother in London, where he is now based.
WHY should I listen to him?
L.A. beautifully mixes beat poetry, blues, hip-hop and folk. He is poetical, polemical and energetic, an observer of contemporary life. His song-writing is made of vivid pictures and words that urge you to pause and think. And hope.
WHEN can I see him live?
L.A. is playing an intimate show in support of the release of his debut single The City Nowadays at Servant Jazz Quarters on July 11th. Tickets here.