Febuary 24th | Rough Trade
Obongjayar is the calm in the middle of the storm. A young rapper and artist with a knack for finding spirituality among the chaotic, messed-up world we live in, it’s safe to say he’s made a name for himself in the last few years.
After releasing a clutch of EPs, singles and collaborations in 2016 and 2017, 2020 has seen him land his most comprehensive work to date. With another new EP under his belt, it feels as though the world is at his feet. The seven-track Which Way is Forward is indicative of his search for self amid his travels from his native Nigeria to London. Spanning ideas of black identity, faith and conflicting concepts of selfhood, he teases with Afrobeat and electronic soul to make for smooth yet pensive listening.
Obongjayar, AKA Steven Umoh, has made his contributions to everything from Danny Brown’s latest album to Mercury-nominated collaborations, so there should be no surprise his sound is so sophisticated only a few years into the game. In moments, he’s spitting spoken word and in the next, calm yet gruff singing. He’s nimble, versatile and engaging until the last second.
Translating that meditative sound to the stage and still making for an upbeat experience is no mean feat, but one that Obongjayar has accomplished already. Do not miss what is destined to be a night of global sounds, tied together with a ribbon of mystery.
See the video for ’10K’ here: