First Listen: Ola Onabule singz of “Orunmila”


(December 26, 2016) Ola Onabule may not be the first name off the lips off fans of British based soul, but that is not due to a lack of effort on his part. Seven Shades Darker, I thought, was one of the strongest soul albums I’ve heard in a while and 2015’s It’s the Peace That Deafens wasn’t far behind. Two of that album’s most distinctive tracks, “Jankoriko” and “Orunmila,” feature highly artistic, animated music videos that serve as video representations of the stories detailed in the lyrics.

That latter cut is our latest First LIsten (or first view, if you’d prefer). A little background. In the Yoruba religion, Orunmila is an Orisha – which I interpret as being divinity – who represents wisdom, intelligence and cleverness. Orunmila was not able to protect Africans from colonizers and other invaders who have exploited the continent and its residents. Onabule said that It’s the Peace that Deafens is the most African conscious of his albums, but his concern about and love for his native Nigeria and the beauty, problems and potential of the African continent has been a constant topic.

By Howard Dukes

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