Friday, 7 August 2015

Lánre! Your music needs Jesus, sort it out!

Every now and again, after a gig someone walks up to me and says

“I really love your music”

“Your voice is amazing”

“Your music is what I needed after a very stressful day”

So, after my set last Friday night, a lovely gentleman walked up to me.

‘Your music is fantastic, fantastic, I mean you write so beautifully…..your last song Home was exceptionally amazing, amazing!’

At this point, I knew a BUT was coming, I just felt it so I smiled, continued breathing and waited for it.

“…. you know what would make it even more amazing?”

I held my smile and my head titled to the side. It took me a few seconds to realise he was waiting for a response from me.

“No, what’s that?”  I responded.

“If you add Jesus in there somewhere, because you know only God can help you get home. Only God can do that, so if you add Jesus in there somewhere that would be great”

I squinted, smiled and thought of a nice way to tell him no. So, I simply said

no. No. I won’t be adding Jesus in there somewhere. Nope!

He looked at me shocked, as if he’s never had anyone tell him no.

I stared at him because I’ve never had anyone tell me that before.

Picture - Paris 2012 

I’ve had a couple of days to think about it, I think I should have said a bit more than just no.

Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for the opportunity to share music and the privilege to touch someone’s heart with my music. I am also grateful that I get to play to a listening audience every now and again.

To be listened to, that’s a blessing and I don’t take it for granted at all.

You feel a BUT coming don’t you………..? J

In my mind, here is what I think happened…..

He loved the song so much, he was moved and touched by it and I’m guessing he’s only ever associated those feelings with a church experience… a spiritual encounter perhaps. He looked around him and realised he was nowhere near a church. He looked in front of him and the person singing hasn’t even mentioned Jesus or God once, she did say something about angels but everyone knows that to really evoke those deep feelings you need a lil’ bit of Jesus in there somewhere.

With no other reason to pin those feelings on, he thought to himself that though the the music is good, it lacked something, an essential ingredient to make it great and he concluded it had to be Jesus.

Lánre! Your music lacks a whole lot of Jesus, sort it out!

How do you know this? You ask.

                                                         Picture - Hill City Mass Choir 2003

I was raised in church, I sang in choirs for years and I was also part of a gospel collective that was active for eight years.  I know and recognise this gentleman’s thought process. I get it! 

My story however has taken on some colourful layers over the years. I have had some deep spiritual experiences to know that God is not and cannot be limited to the human boxes we tend to build.

I found God listening to Foy Vance’s music, Laura Marling haunting lyrics, Sophie Jamieson’s delicately crafted songs and Sufjan Stevens’ vulnerable voice.

I know this may sound ridiculous to some people but no one can tell me otherwise because my experiences and stories are mine.

When I write songs, my intention has always been to make people feel very deep within their souls what I feel when I put pen to paper. I am always searching for words that simply explain my faith, doubts, fears, dreams, failures and victories.

So when someone walks up to me and says, your music touched me, thank you.

I ALWAYS send one up to where inspiration comes from.  

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

We all want to be heard, who is listening?

there's something about sitting in a room filled with people listening to live music. As a musician living in London what you will come to realise is that although there are many venues to enjoy music, not all of them have a listening audience. Most people go out to music events with friends which is cool but most times, people use that time to catch up with their friends while the musician struggles to be heard.

We all want to be heard... don't we, but who's listening?

For four years I was the host of the weekly acoustic night, Portobello Acoustic Sessions - i really enjoyed sitting in that cosy room filled with listening audience. I was sad to let that gig go! 

A few months ago, I was asked to curate a monthly event at the Omnibus  in Clapham Common called Lánre + Special Guests 

It's a room filled with people who love music - I get to play some of my songs and introduce people to musicians they may or may not have heard of. 

Below is a video of me talking about it - more like a day in the life of kinda thing! :-) 

The next Lánre + Special Guests is Friday 26th June

Thank you for listening ;-) 

Monday, 15 June 2015


I am a believer in the saying that... We need to tell our stories, otherwise others will tell it for us and it almost always is inaccurate. No one can tell your story like you can.

I am currently putting together a series of short stories and this is the first of those.

It's about my hair - see video below

PS: don't ask me how my neck's doing!! hehehe

Thursday, 5 March 2015

What to do with quiet moments....

I haven’t blogged in a while, not because I haven’t written anything but because I've been reluctant to share.

Not even sure why that is.

I have a problem with quiet moments.

When nothing is happening. No gigs, no new songs, no calls to inquire about gigs, no response to emails…. Just silence.

I've always felt like, time is of the essence, make the most of it and my way of making the most of it (i.e. time) is doing A LOT!

So, this season is a bit challenging for me.

I've been reading….

I just read ‘The Art of Asking’ by Amanda Palmer

She bares it all. Talk about vulnerability at its best.

I don’t know how to ask for help.

If anything needs doing, I get on with it. I however realise that you can’t get a lot done without asking for someone or people for help.

I need to learn to ask for HELP!

I was raised in the church so I know how to ask God for help. I however find it difficult to ask humans (hehe!) for help.

I think I am proud..... (ya think?!)

I've been shopping..

How do you like my new shoes?

1   I was on Netflix as you do and I watched the movie, A Long Way Down.
3       It’s a story of 4 strangers who planned to jump off the same roof on New Year's Eve, they join together as a kind of family and give themselves six weeks to find valid reasons to live.

Towards the end of the film, I heard a song called ‘Youth’ by a band called Daughter

I think I played it a dozen of times and finally got my copy on iTunes

Watch the official video of Youth below, it's a gorgeous song.

I’m writing again……….wrote a new song with my ukulele. I think I’ll call this one 3 girls (that may possibly change)

One day (soon) I’ll share it with you.

Before you know it, it’ll be spring!

Speak soon x

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

LIVE TV is nerve-racking

I haven't blogged in months, partly because i haven't been 'inspired' to do so. If I am really honest though, I think I really got lazy about documenting my journey.

It's however December and you all know the month of December tends to be when we take stock and promise to do better in the new year. I though instead of promising to blog more in 2015... why not just get on with it :-)

Yesterday. I was on London Live TV to perform on the Evening News Show. There was a lil' interview to start with. This is more like a mini chat where the artists gets asked questions about their journey. 

The usual... how would you describe your music question. You'd think i'd be used to answering those questions by now! oh nope. I still stutter when i get asked, how would you describe your music.

They mic, you and give you all these instructions that go in one ear and come out the other and a they count the presenter in... Four Three, Two...

I however survived and managed to enjoy myself. I edplay one of the songs from my current record, 'Memories' a song I wrote for an organisation that supports Alzheimer's research and awareness. 

Here's the link - let me know what you think ;-)

Friday, 30 May 2014

HOME Liner Notes - Track 2 | Stone Collector

I wrote this song after a conversation I had with a man who has a habit of collecting stones. 

I was obviously curious as to why…

He said he collected stones for good luck. My first thought was, how bizarre!

The more I questioned him about why, and how on earth he thought the stones in his pockets made any difference to how his fortune turned out, the more I realised how very alike we all are. I stopped judging him, I instead accepted and respected his choice to collect stones and wrote a song instead. 

Isn't it amazing how what you need to read, listen to, watch..... comes to you at the moment when you need it

So, these past few days I've been reading about dreams and inner voice and I realise that Stone Collector is a little glimpse into those things. We are all searching for that voice to assure us that

Everything will be ok!
You are  on the right path!
You will win!

And what we spend our lives doing is searching for that voice elsewhere but within us.

A couple of days ago, the legend and extra special human being Dr. Maya Angelou, passed away and her last tweet was this..

'Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God.'


The voice speaking to you is within you, willing you to be quiet and listen. (we are not doing a lot of that these days, everyone is talking at the same time and no one is listening)

Let that voice lead you!

You can download Stone Collector (from the EP - Home) on itunes

Stream via Spotify 

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

HOME Liner Notes - Track 1 | 21 Days

I write because I don't have all the answers. 

Always searching, seeking and hoping to find.

21 Days is my take on the conversation that (may have taken) took place between Daniel and an angel called Gabriel.

Do you pray?

If you do, what do u pray about and why do you pray?
Does it make any difference?

There's a point in the Daniel and Gabriel conversation that always gets me. When the angel told Daniel that he already made his way to help from the first day Daniel prayed.

What the heck took you 21 days Gabriel? 3 weeks ?!?!

My afro would have grown a whole inch in the time it took the angel to come to Daniel's aid.

Gabriel's explanation though, favours the saying "there's more to life than meets the eye"

There are people who believe that prayer is an excuse for apathy or laziness.

 Some turn to prayer when they feel helpless and don't know what to do.

and then there are some who would explore all options and then pray when come to the point where nothing else works.

There are those who pray before each meal and then pray before they select what outfit to wear

 Some pray when the day starts and others, when the day ends.

What ever category you fall into, I think there must be an element of belief in divine intervention (or) and a higher power in everyone who prays otherwise there'll be no need to

                                   Question is though, do you believe?


would you still hold on to your faith if you have to wait 21 days for an intervention or response?

You can download 21 Days (from Home) on itunes

Stream - Spotify 

Thursday, 8 May 2014


A week ago, I released a 5 track record called HOME

Picture by Jendella Artwork by Charles Juba 

Prior to the release, I had the privilege of putting together a Living Room Sessions tour. 

Sharing music with a live audience is a beautiful thing because you have the opportunity to see people respond to the music you've been crafting and perfecting in your own little world or room in real time. 

Having to go into people's living spaces and sharing music with them, their friends and family was even a more beautiful experience because the gap between stage and audience is removed. I wanted that same feeling of closeness to be felt on my new record.
When you think of home, you immediately think of family. 

I have discovered that what also connects people apart from bloodline or DNA is music. I have seen it happen when I toured Paris and got to play with amazing musicians whose English speaking ability is way French's which is nonexistent and it made absolutely no difference. We just connected.

On this record, I wanted to play with friends and musicians that I've shared the stage with at some point and that's exactly what happened.

Cello - Nora Kalcheva | 2nd Guitars - Richard Burrell | Bass - Stewart Rawle | Drums & Percussion - Feranmi Ogunseyinde

Picture by Janssem Cardoso at Resident Studios
All five of us (and a six month old bump) spent ten hours recording together in one room with Simon Small at the desk. It's an experience I won't be forgetting for a long time. What a blessing to be supported by these musicians.

We later asked Mike Dunne to sprinkle some gold dust on Memories and did he do that or what?

When you ask anyone what home means to them, it's interesting to note that it means different things to everyone. For some, it's a space and for others, it's a state of mind. I wanted anyone who listened to this record to feel connected to that place they call home, their own comfortable place, their home. All I told Rohan Budd, who did an amazing job of lovingly piecing together everything we recorded in that room, was "imagine being wrapped up in a blanket and handed a hot cup of chocolate on a cold winter night"

Every artist will tell you that sharing your work with the world carries with it a whole lot of excitement as well as nervousness. You wrestle with your inner voice...

will it be well received?
oooh I hope the like it..
i should have tweaked that song here and then there

What I've come to learn is that, after all is said and done, you have to let it go... to my surprise though, the EP did climb to #53 on the iTunes chart a few hours after release. For some, that's nothing but for me, THAT IS AMAZING

I hope the record continues to reach out and finds it's way into people's homes, cars and cafes.

So when you listen to this EP I'd like you to close your eyes and allow yourself to be wrapped up in the voices, strings and rhythms coming out of your speakers into your ears, till your whole body is immersed in the music.

Thank you for telling a friend and a friend's friend :-) - below are the links to the new EP 

Stream - Spotify