Talk of songs that tell a story… Of fresh unadulterated natural music from the roots… Of music that is organic, music that is unplugged, music that is fresh from the garden of Soul and inspiring from the garden of life and we can only be talking about the special and beautifully simple UK-based Nigerian singer/songwriter by the name of Lánre.
Her music can be best described as Acoustic Soul with influences from her Nigerian heritage of storytelling and Folk music along with her background in Gospel music which stems from her time as a member of award-winning contemporary Gospel music collective GK REAL. It was only after an extensive tour with the collective that Lánre decided to embark on her own personal musical journey with her acoustic guitar.
We decided to throw some questions her way that will give you all an insight to the inspiration behind her music but before you read on, let’s listen to the first song titled “Inspiration” from her 2011 independently released debut solo album Pen Voyage Chapter One: Singing for Change.
WPGM – Tell us a little bit about your debut solo album Pen Voyage Chapter One: Singing for Change
LANRE – It’s my first solo project with ten songs that reflects my journey. It’s also inspired by other people’s stories. It was produced by UK based producer Goz-i-am and all the music was recorded using live instruments featuring amazing musicians like Femi Temowo, Pedro Segundo and Troy Miller.
WPGM – What’s the story behind that quite catchy title?
LANRE – It’s my attempt at showing the journey of my pen through songs that I hope would inspire change in me and others.
WPGM – Who are some of your influences?. Tell me who you would name as the top five artists who have inspired your sound.
LANRE – I am inspired by amazing story tellers like my grandfather, my dad, Toni Morrison, Chimamanda Adichie and influenced by song writers like Foy Vance, Justin Nozuka, Asa, India Arie, Regina Spektor, Joni Mitchell. Creative story tellers amaze me.
WPGM – In an industry where image is everything, what do you do to stay true to who you are as an artist?
LANRE – I think the “image is everything” saying in relation to the music industry has become a self-fulfilling prophesy. Somehow we have come to believe that unless we look or sound a certain way we will not be acknowledged. What I do is remind myself of artists who aren’t dancing to the tune that everyone else is dancing to, to be great. Most of them you won’t find in the mainstream media but they are out there.
No doubt Lanre’s music is unique and as she confirms below, her target audience is a wide mix.
WPGM -Bearing in mind the uniqueness of your sound, how would you describe your target audience?
LANRE – I have heard that a few times. With regards to target audience and following. I don’t know if I am able to articulate who my target audience is as such. I have had my music played in cafes, hair dressing salon, chocolate shop, and art galleries. Some of the people that connect with what I do are young and some are old. Not sure if that’s a good thing or not. I enjoy sharing my songs with anyone who’d care to listen.
WPGM -Who would you most like to collaborate with if given the chance?
LANRE –To write with someone like Foy Vance would be an amazing experience.
WPGM -What should we expect from Lánre, musically, in the near future?
LANRE –I hope to continue to grow as a song writer and artist, influence change and continue to inspire.
WPGM -Finally, is there anything that you’d like to tell our readers about yourself/your music that you haven’t shared yet?
LANRE –Check out my music on www.lanreworld.com and if you like what you hear, buy my album “Pen Voyage Chapter 1: Singing for Change from the site or get a digital copy on iTunes. Thanks!