The renowned folk reggae artist is to release the first of three singles in the run up to his latest album.
!This album and its singles are the epitome of all of my creativity. ‘21st Century Wailing’ answers the call of social commentary coupled with my desire to promote spirituality. ‘Mom I Swear’ also exemplifies this crossover and both songs will hopefully be reflective as well as inspirational.” – Ben Okafor
With his 13th studio album coming up for release and associated tour in October, the roots stalwart will be releasing the brilliantly nostalgic ‘21st Century Wailing’ on the 2nd August.
Taking a leaf or three out of The Wailer’s handbook, the track plays on the evocative nature of the skanky clav/guitar combo coupled with full on attitude. The track, like a quite a few on the album, is a beautifully refined version of a song that Ben has been playing for many years.
The Liberators, Ben’s band, have topped the song off with Roger Inniss laying a slick bassline over the beat perfect drums of Mark Stevens and the silky backing vocals of Chrissy Balogun. The B-side, ‘Mom I Swear’, is a grittier story backed with much of the same attitude that adorns 21st Century Wailing. The real triumph is that together these songs prove that not only have Ben Okafor & The Liberators perfected their art, but that they also have a sumptuous offering of folk infused reggae ready to deliver to us on a big shiny platter!
Ben grew up in difficult times during the civil war in Nigeria and even fought as a child soldier at the age of 13. He moved to the Midlands in 1979 and quickly released two albums under the production of Bob Lamb (Early UB40’s fame).
The underlying themes of justice and activism continually pop up throughout his music and poetry and his sources of inspiration include Miriam Makeba, The Rolling Stones and Fela Kuti.