This week’s playlist is curated by Eno Williams, the flamboyant mouthpiece for the 16-legged party animal Ibibio Sound Machine.
Her UK based outfit blends ‘just about every genre on the planet’ – a bold approach that’s seen them become one of the newest – and most successful – additions to Miles Cleret’s eclectic Soundway label.
As songwriter and main vocalist, Eno uses her Nigerian mother’s Ibibio tongue, while the band around her swoop and soar across the continents.
She is joined by Alfred Bannerman (guitar), Anselmo Netto (percussion), Leon Brichard (bass/synth), Jose Joyette (drums), Max Grunhard (alto sax), Tony Hayden (trombone/synth) and Scott Baylis (trumpet), who all brought their own unique musical imprints to their eponymous debut album.
Fresh from recent barn-storming appearances at Glastonbury, Wilderness, Shambala and Citadel festivals, the band are back in the studio prepping another record, which is slated for release next year.
We caught up with Eno in between studio sessions for our Awesome Africa feature to learn more about the band and her key musical influences. Here’s what she came up with:
Whitney Houston – I Wanna Dance With Somebody
This song was so vibrant and playful, it made me feel happy!
Chaka Khan – I’m Every Woman
A classic girl power song my sisters and I always used to sing along to.
Angelique Kidjo – Agolo
Really catchy tune that also had a deeper meaning to me.
Manu Dibango – Soul Makossa
My dad used to listen to this one a lot.
Youssou N’Dour and Neneh Cherry – Seven Seconds
A meeting of African and Western music that really captured my imagination as a kid.
Dionne Warwick – What the World Needs Now is Love
I just love the timeless message of this tune.
William Onyeabor – When the going is smooth and good
I remember hearing this in the market place as a child and thinking how strange and fascinating it was.
James Brown – This is a Man’s, Man’s World
I love James Brown, he was onto something with this one!
Miriam Makeba – Malaika
We heard this a lot growing up in Africa.
Donna Summer – I Feel Love
I love Donna Summer and this tune really captures something of the zeitgeist at the beginnings of electronic music.