Lookman Adekunle Salami, who writes and records as L.A. Salami, is a storyteller and a poet. His songs are deliberate meanderings on the mundane and the poignancy in everyday life. And in the way Bob Dylan took his guitar and harmonica to accompany his rarely repeating ramblings, L.A Salami embraces a similar aesthetic, albeit as a black Englishman instead of a white Minnesotan.
His opening song at the Tiny Desk, "Day to Day (For 6 Days a Week)," runs about six minutes, with over 600 words. He seems to rattle them all off effortlessly, with compelling, complicated rhymes that never repeat and phrases such as:
"Went to work for the NHS -
Mental health, people depressed.
Met Joanne - Scared of living,
Afraid of dying, terrified of being.
Then met Paul, a schizophrenic,
Shaking limbs, paranoid fanatic -
Unwashed 10 days in a row -
So afraid almost paralytic."
L.A. Salami released one of my favorite albums of 2016, Dancing With Bad Grammar, which was produce by Matt Ingram, known for his creative work with artists as diverse as Laura Marling and FKA Twigs. So if you have a penchant for broadside ballads, and observations of our times reflected through the mind of a brilliant songwriter, take a look at L.A. Salami.
"Day To Day (For 6 Days A Week)"
"Terrorism (The ISIS Crisis)"
"My Thoughts, They Too Will Tire"
Lookman Adekunle Salami (vocals, guitars, harmonicas)
Producers: Bob Boilen, Morgan Noelle Smith; Audio Engineers: Josh Rogosin; Videographer: Morgan Noelle Smith; Production Assistant: Jenna Li; Photo: Liam James Doyle/NPR.
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