A Platform for Ethnically and Culturally Inspired Music
2 times in the Global Top 40
Genre: afrobeat, afro-cuban, traditional folkloric
About "Obatala (featuring Kurt Allen)"
This started off as just an instrumental piece to honor my grandfather in white, Obatala. The horn lines are based off of traditional chants, and of course the rhythm is a Fela-inspired Afrobeat groove. One thing I’ve really enjoyed throughout this whole CD writing process is to write for the band that I was currently working with, rather than write songs that I imagined myself playing all of the instruments on, as was the case for the first album. This, of course meant having a lot of fun writing for the TapRoots “Horns of Plenty!” Along with Gumbo, I really wanted to give them a track to shine on, especially my good friend and collaborator Frank Newton, who is playing the saxophone on this track. While I was writing this, another old friend from Trinidad reached out to me, the immensely talented Kurt Alan. He got in touch, saying that he would love to collaborate on a song together, and I thought this one would be perfect for him. And so it quickly went from an instrumental piece, as it was originally conceived, to what you hear now, with Kurt’s soulful invocations, followed by a traditional chant at the end.