24 July 2021
Really pleased to release ‘People’ – the first single from The Turning, my forthcoming studio album. People is a call to be mindful of how we relate and connect to people in our lives, our world and ultimately, ourselves. In a sense the song cuts across time, while the lyrics reflect an arc of shaping beliefs, justice, and notions of personal and collective agency, the song’s core message remains as relevant today as when first written.
I wrote People in my late 20s. It was an expression, at a time of decision-making, of putting action to things that had a formative impact on me. People is the only song to be reprised from Journey an album which I self-released in 2004. People was re-recorded in 2019 to include the addition of a new verse and a long-standing collaboration with Zenon Joel Otim, a Ugandan rapper, who wrote additional lyrics for the song in 2006.
“I got to know Zenon early in the time I lived in Uganda, although I am sure I heard him perform before I met him properly. There was a great group of mutual friends around, I can remember the Pure Souls arriving at a New Year’s Eve party and giving an impromptu performance. I had given Zenon a copy of my first album Journey, and several weeks later he called round, I played a couple of the tracks, and then with some notes he’d jotted on paper he was just rapping along to a couple of the tracks, including People, breathing new lyrics into the song”.
“When someone really listens and connects to something you created and feels led to build their own creativity into it, that is such a gift. A few weeks later we spent the afternoon with a friend, Mukisa Douglas, who at that time had a recording studio in Kampala. The ‘lost recordings’ from that afternoon are on a file somewhere, but it was, in essence, a commitment to something, someday”.