When challenged, in 2018, by a fan via Twitter with the question “WHAT are you?”, Ghostpoet responded: “So Interesting. Why is it so important for me to be part of a predetermined genre with its parameters and rules? I’m just an artist who experiments with sounds and loves guitars. It’s ok to be confused, not everything in life needs explanation, sometimes we just have to go with it”.
Obaro Ejimiwe, aka Ghostpoet, has made his name through his mysteriously intimate sound and by delving into the most sinister places of the human mind. When he plays tonight’s sell out show at Concorde 2, from start to finish, he does not disappoint.
With an overwhelming sense of sinister, uncomfortable peaking sonics and unstoppable driving eerie tones, Ghostpoet (Obaro Ejimiwe) is back with his latest record, Dark Days + Canapés, to create an apocalyptic universe which leaves a solemn hollowed feeling straight to the soul.
On a balmy April evening, Ghost brought a chill to the air with a terrific performance straight from the underworld. Brighton Dome will have seen some strange sights over its long history, but never before has it seen anything like the wildly enjoyable, yet totally insane, show on display this night. Despite weather that had packed the parks and beaches of Brighton, black was the dress code inside the Dome, while some had chosen to wear the distinctive ‘Ghoul’ mask that the band are famous for. I came to the show keen to discover whether the music on display could match the terrific hype and stunning visuals that this band have become famous for, and I was pleasantly blown away.
Ghostpoet (aka Obaro Ejimiwe) has long been one of BrightonsFinest’s favourite UK talents ever since he gained wide acclaim with his debut album, Peanut Butter Blues & Melanchly Jam, which got nominated in perhaps one of the strongest Mercury Prize’s ever in 2011. Now touring his third album, Shedding Skin, his music has evolved from the glitchier electronic sounds to a new live orientated set up which I couldn’t rate any higher.
I first saw Ghostpoet (aka Obaro Ejimiwe) playing on the 2011 Mercury Prize awards show, doing a tremendous version of his debut single ‘Cash & Carry Me Home’. Unfortunately for him 2011 was an exceptionally strong year for albums, losing out to Let England Shake by PJ Harvey, but it did put me onto his distinctively urban sound and persuaded me to buy his first album Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam. Ghostpoet’s second album, ‘Some Say I So I Say Light’ (2013), was just as well received being a more of an electronic affair. Shedding Skin is his third album and it continues with themes of relationships, ageing, identity, society and disillusion, with a helpful input from an assortment of guest vocalists.
Back in 2011, Obaro Ejimiwe aka Ghostpoet was suddenly catapulted into the limelight when his debut offering Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize. Glitchy, moody and like no other record out there, it not surprisingly lost out to the red-hot favourite, PJ Harvey and her Let England Shake album. “Looking back on it, it was like where do you go from there!” says Obaro from his London home. “But it was great way to open some doors and allow me to be taken seriously as an artist. It kind of follows you around, it’s like a musical knighthood.” Being nominated is certainly good enough for most people, and can even be better than having to deal with the unexpected pressures of actually winning the damn thing. In any event, people stood up and took notice of this unusual talent, as Gilles Peterson had done a couple of years earlier…