Sunday, 16 October 2011

Pen Voyage Liner Notes - Track 3

Isn't it amazing how fast the weekend goes?

As always it's Monday and it's all about music from Pen Voyage Chapter 1; Singing for Change. The third track on this record is Má Gbàgbé. I wrote the song in English and Yoruba; one of the (250) two hundred and fifty languages spoken in Nigeria, West Africa.

This song is what I call the traveler's song. I remember growing up hearing my grandfather always had this saying to everyone that's out going on a journey.

"Alo a da abo a sunwon, ma gbagbe omo eni ti on se o"

Loosely translated, it means "have a safe trip, but don't forget who you are"

Staying connected and true to who you are is huge when it comes to MOST African parents a large part of our upbringing is very community oriented and I still think that it's a great thing to have.

The picture I had in mind as I wrote this song was that of a young person leaving home for the first time. Memories of me leaving home (Nigeria) to return to England (my country of birth) came flooding back. I remember everyone prayed for me and of course my granddad ended his goodbyes with his usual advice "DON'T FORGET WHO YOU ARE"

I have been going out as a Solo artist for almost eighteen months and I think the challenge most people face is the pressure to ALWAYS have your music or art accepted. Sometimes we think we need to change to accommodate everyone else's expectation of us. I think that is the problem I have with music competitions like X Factor etc especially when the judges come back with comments like "You are a good singer BUT you are not what we are looking for in this competition"

That just sounds wrong to me because I think getting artists to meet your pre-conceived idea of what you deem acceptable is dangerous. While some may argue it shows the artists' versatility, I think most know that it's also because artists are marketed to fit a tried and tested formula and mold.... very little to do with creativity.

Staying authentic and true is a sell-able brand in my opinion. It may take longer than most but it endures.

I leave you with the Bridge of the song.
"Ajo ko le dun ko nile ma re le"
No matter how "Sweet" the journey (or the experience of the travel) is. You will one day head back "home" in other words...


Pen Voyage Chapter 1; Singing for Change is out on iTunes, Amazon and other digital stores

You can buy the physical CD here

Listen to tracks from the album here
Latest tracks by Lánre

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