ÍFARADÁ, the 7 song EP debut by London-based artist Loshh is a celebration of music and identity steeped in pain and hope. The EP was recorded in July 2020 when Loshh and producer Santiago Morales locked themselves away from COVID in Morales’ home studio. Loshh is the artist Loshh Aje, who along with his music, works in poetry and visual art. He was born of Nigerian heritage in the Netherlands, lived in Dublin, and now lives in London.
When Frank Zappa put out his debut album Freak Out, he included a list of 179 people who influenced his music. If Loshh had included a similar list in ÍFARADÁ, it would probably name hundreds of influences. Loshh specifically points to Fuji, Jùjú, and African musicians Fela Kuti and King Sunny Adé as influences. But his music has elements from every corner of the Black Atlantic Diaspora. The songs on ÍFARADÁ are Latin-tinged, percussion-heavy, and politically charged.
Each of the seven songs on ÍFARADÁ have their own vibe. “É Beré” introduces the prevalent musical and lyrical themes to come. Pulsing percussion moves around jazzy flairs and lethargic singing. “Revolution” is a vocal-driven song about racism and escaping despair. “Freelam”— an upbeat background sound makes this song easy to dance to. The vocals on this song have a similar sound to King Krule.
“Í” sits as a stripped-down electric song right in the middle of the album. The vocal delivery on “Í” gives off a Bad Brains vibe. “Brown” is a spoken word poem to light music: “I am not from this place. My skin is brown. I am a young black man.” The lyrics are straightforward and ask the listener to think. In “Faji” the brass gets a more prominent role. Loshh puts in impressively emotional vocals toward the end of the song. “Ko Si Mọ” is a chill comedown song and end of the album.
We caught up with Loshh to learn about what it’s like making an EP in a month, his musical influences, and the importance of spirits in his life and music.
You seem to be influenced by a variety of music. What music do you listen to?
Ah yes music is an important element and force in my day-to-day. What I listen to really does vary depending on my mood – but recently what I’ve been listening to is Dumama + Kechou. Omah Lay. Nubya Garcia and Tony Allen.
ÍFARADÁ was created entirely in July 2020. What was it like to put an EP together in such a short period of time?
Honestly, it was a breathtaking moment. It’s like the spirits, the energies of my ancestors were flowing through me and my producer Santiago. It just goes to show the things that can be achieved once you move in spirit and let them come down.
You’ve spoken about the importance of spirits and the spiritual in music. How does this spirituality influence you?
It influences just about everything about myself. To move in spirit and not in flesh by all means necessary, is very crucial as it allows me to be open to everything and get rid/let go of my pride and ego so my blessings, creative juices can flow to the soul!
What has it been like not being able to tour with your seven-piece band during COVID?
I’ll be honest. Not being able to perform with the band has been a bummer because all I really want to do is let de spirits down on stage. Until then, it’s more sounds, more rhythm, more grooves for you all!
How do you feel now that ÍFARADÁ is released?
Honestly, I feel amazingly on top of the moon but strangely enough I also feel like the weight has been lifted off of my shoulders, it had to come out sooner or later. Very glad and excited to get the Loshh style and sound out into the world, finally.