Ghostpoet: Mastering melancholy
Mon 26th Sep, 2011 Features 422 viewsin
Speaking on the phone from his London home to inthemix, producer and MC Obaro Ejimiwe, aka Ghostpoet, is getting ready for a party. He’s “tryin to turn this kick of a flat into a palace” before his mates come over.
It’s been a long road for the artist who made ears prick this year with his debut LP release Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jam. He even gained himself a nomination for the UK’s most prestigious music award, the Mercury Prize, alongside the likes of Adele, PJ Harvey, James Blake and Metronomy.
With a raft of UK festivals under his belt and his first Aussie tour on the way in October, it’s turning out to be a rather successful year for this softly spoken MC. Ghostpoet’s never been to Australia before and judging by his tone, he’s more than a little elated to be heading here. “I am very excited about it, very excited, very, very excited,” he says. “I want to see a traditional Australian barbecue. The closest I’ve come to it is Neighbours and Home and Away, so I want to see it in the flesh, so to speak. I don’t even eat meat anymore but just to see it and to be part of that tradition would be great.”
Halfway through the conversation, the sound of sirens blares through the telephone handset. “That sound is a common occurrence in London, where I live,” he says. Ghostpoet’s recent move to London meant he was there when the riots took place a few months ago. “It was just surreal,” he says. “It didn’t seem real. The idea of people taking to the streets, smashing up stuff, burning things and displaying a total disregard for the law seemed strange, very strange.”
He’s not sure yet whether the uprising will have an affect his future lyrics or music. “I think my music is very much about life and the life around me but it’s more on a subconscious level. It’s sort of whatever comes out at the time and that’s what drives it. Like everyone in London and around the world, we’re taking in these scenes and listening to the radio and hearing the stories and I know it’s in there, it’s in amongst the rest of my brain, but I couldn’t tell you if it will come out. Who knows, who knows.”