Michael Olatuja, the award winning ‘Cinematic AfroBeat’ maestro recently released his album titled Lagos Pepper Soup.
Olatuja’s third album, Lagos Pepper Soup featuresAngélique Kidjo, Dianne Reeves (nine Grammy Awards between both artists), Laura Mvula, Regina Carter, Lionel Loueke, Joe Lovano, Becca Stevens, Robert Mitchell, Onaje Jefferson, Brandee Younger, Grégoire Maret in an ensemble of string players, horns and percussion to create an intercontinental musical dialogue.
The London born, Lagos raised bassist, producer and arranger said; “What you hear is a blend of three major cities (Lagos, London and New York), it’s a celebration of life and I wanted to make it sound like a soundtrack for a movie that hasn’t been made yet – maybe the next Black Panther movie or Coming to America 3. The idea was to explore and further the narrative between Afrobeat and the Hollywood soundtrack music, hence Cinematic Afrobeat.”
The 12 track jazz album produced and composed by Michael Olatuja on Whirlwind Recordings, Lagos Pepper Soup comprises songs such as Brighter Day – which reunites the artist with Laura Mvula and his friend Troy Miller; ‘Soki’, meaning ‘Soon’ – a Pan-African mix of influences from Mali, Senegal and Nigeria and features Dianne Reeves singing in Yoruba; Hero’s Journey – described as the most cinematic track of the album, a piece inspired by Michael’s late mother, who provided his first musical inspiration; ‘Leye’s Dance’ is based on the Fuji style from Lagos, Joe Lovano recalls his time playing and hanging with Fela Kutiat The Shrine in this inspired Afrojazz blend; ‘Ma Foya’, ‘Shadows fade’ and others including the title track ‘Lagos Pepper Soup’ which is a summary of what the album is about with Kidjo’s stunning vocal performance.
Olatuja adds; “All these guests are people I’ve worked with, who inspire me and who I consider friends. Angélique has been one of my heroes for many years and working with her was a dream come true. She blew it out the water.”
Lagos Pepper Soup is a tribute to Olatuja’s late mother, Bola Olatuja who was a chef and a business woman, she owned two restaurants in Lagos in the 1980s. She specialized in jollof rice, effo riro, Moin-Moin and pepper soup.