Sunday, 2 October 2011

Pen Voyage Liner Notes - Track 1

It's been a couple of days since the official release of my latest solo record, Pen Voyage Chapter 1; Singing for Change. On the night of the album release, I performed for the very first time with a live band and I have to say I won't be forgetting the experience for a while.

Yesterday I spoke to a lovely lady who came to the show and also bought my CD, It was interesting to hear how the songs and stories have touched her. What stood out for me from all that she said though was the fact that listening to the CD brought back memories of the back stories I shared at the show.

I see myself as a storyteller and music has become one of the mediums of storytelling for me. With that in mind, I try to tell a back story before I start to perform any song. Everyone has a story to tell.

I heard a musician explain the roles of artists this way....

If you imagine that we are all members of the same village and in that village there are healers, entertainers, teachers, storytellers.... everyone contributing his or her part to help build and develop that village.

I think I see my place in the "village" as a storyteller and I seek to inspire.

So for the next ten Mondays, I will be writing what I call Pen Voyage Liner Notes explaining the reason behind all the ten songs on the album - Pen Voyage Chapter 1; Singing for Change.

I hope these stories connect with people and that the songs come alive for that reason.

The first song on the record is Prayer (Oun gbogbo)

Prayer is huge part of my life and upbringing. I know there are different types and ways to pray. I however see prayer as an intimate conversation between me and God. I absolutely believe that praying requires us to be sincere and vulnerable and what I did was take a very popular song I heard my grandfather sing several times and make it mine

"Oun Gbogbo ti mo ni
Tire ni n se baba..."

"All i have (I am) is yours father"

I think it's a song that explains where my heart is. I wake up thinking how blessed I am to be able to do what I love. I decided to sing it in Yoruba (one of the 250 languages spoken in Nigeria, West Africa) in recognition of my grandfathers and my father. Three very strong men that I've been blessed to meet and proud to be a part of. I also think singing it in Yoruba helped to re-iterate the intimacy I think is a huge part of prayer.....

I imagine it's just myself and God at that moment in time and I have his audience and He has mine.... I think that's special!

Pen Voyage Chapter 1; Singing for Change is out on iTunes, Amazon and other digital stores

You can buy the physical CD here

Listen to tracks from the album here
Latest tracks by Lánre

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