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Old 13-06-2013, 04:59 PM   #21
thegatherer
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Out-take from Imanifesto album

https://soundcloud.com/imani-hekima/in-our-face

IN OUR FACE

Each time I ask a question
Some fool just fobs me off
With some tired explanation
Or they simply stand and scoff
But the “facts” they’re presenting
Crumble in the light of day
Still they keep on unrelenting
Nothing new they have to say

CHORUS
IT’S IN OUR FACE (4 TIMES)

If you question a religion
You’re accused of blasphemy
Cast some doubt on a professor
You may not get your degree
If you question politicians
They reply in Doublespeak
That’s why most of us will keep our heads down
Seven days a week

CHORUS

Each time I ask a question
There’s a watcher standing guard
With his beady eye protecting
His entrusted house of cards
But when light comes through the window
It will burn to smithereens
And yet most of us still go about our
Daily routines

CHORUS
Hey Imani! Just noticed this outtake from the album, like it. The producer you got there certainly knows how to master some volume onto those tracks too.
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Old 19-06-2013, 03:41 PM   #22
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Hey Imani! Just noticed this outtake from the album, like it. The producer you got there certainly knows how to master some volume onto those tracks too.
Cheers Gareth, only belatedly seeing your post!
Yes I'm quite pleased with this track. I played the bassline (on keyboard) and piano... and for the basic beat we sampled some Lebanese belly dance music, believe it or not.
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Old 17-07-2013, 11:56 AM   #23
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On Friday (19/7/2013) I'll be doing a live set on BCB Radio, 106.6FM

The show is called 'W.I.N. - World Interactive Network'. Presented by Dan Carroll and Phil Cope, playing selections, live music and chat. Each week has a different theme - this week’s is censorship/taboo subjects in music. I’ll be interviewed and just after 11pm GMT will perform a 30 min 'unplugged' set, accompanying myself on piano. Featuring some new songs.

Listening link: http://www.bcbradio.co.uk
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Old 18-07-2013, 06:01 AM   #24
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On Friday (19/7/2013) I'll be doing a live set on BCB Radio, 106.6FM

The show is called 'W.I.N. - World Interactive Network'. Presented by Dan Carroll and Phil Cope, playing selections, live music and chat. Each week has a different theme - this week’s is censorship/taboo subjects in music. I’ll be interviewed and just after 11pm GMT will perform a 30 min 'unplugged' set, accompanying myself on piano. Featuring some new songs.

Listening link: http://www.bcbradio.co.uk
In advance of tomorrow's live performance on WIN (11pm BCB radio), here's a transcript of an interview I did earlier this week with one of the presenters ('WIN #6: This Friday night with Imani Hekima').

For people who haven’t heard your work before,what can the expect from your live performance on Friday?

IM:Something quite soulful , I guess. Songs with a social message which are based upon my key influences which have been things like the first band I ever followed, The Specials and all the 2-Tone stuff. I also grew up hearing Bob Marley’s albums, I like Curtis Mayfield which is also very message oriented. So it’s all of that, but through my own experiences

So were The Specials your formative musical experience?

IM: Definitely. At some point in every adolescent’s life you find an artist or a band that you hear or see on TV which strikes a chord with you in a way that nothing else does and that’s what The Specials and 2-Tone was to me. I was part of a gang who were into dressing up, going out and dancing, going to youth clubs and all that . There was a little group of us that used to go round places in Bradford and we established our own little youth club night at Checkpoint which is still there, and prior to that Textile Hall, and out of that we formed bands. The first band that I was in came out of that experience and they were called Spectre and we were like a ska band.

Were you writing your own material in Spectre?

IM:It didn’t take that long before we started writing our own material. I remember our first gig was all covers. We did stuff from UB40′s first album and The Specials’ first album. We used to do “Death Disco’ by PiL and “Peaches” by The Stranglers. Our drummer was a punk and myself and my two older brothers Roger and Stu liked punk as well, so it wasn’t a big deal to do Stranglers’ songs because we loved them.

Was 2-Tone as much a social focus as a musical one for you?

IM:In the 70′s youth were very tribal you could tell what a person’s musical taste was from how they dressed.There were various different youth tribes. Obviously, there were the punks, there were soul boys, there were people who were into reggae and we liked a bit of each of those things but we couldn’t really embrace the whole image. When the 2-Tone thing came along it was perfect really, because it represented a fusion of Jamaican culture and British culture and it just reflected our experience perfectly.

You mentioned Curtis Mayfield before, how did you get into that kind of early 70′s politically conscious soul music?

IM:The 80′s soul like Freddie Jackson and Luther Vandross didn’t really move me at all. It wasn’t that it wasn’t good music, but I think it was a lifestyle thing. Soul then was very kind of aspirational. It seemed to be all about wearing the finest shoes. We were into looking good ,but it was much more earthy. Our idea of looking sharp was a shiny pair of Doc Martins.There wasn’t any social message in the music, and it sounded a bit too pristine. The Motown and Stax records of the 60′s and 70′s were very sophisticated for the time, but they were very gritty as well.It was people playing in a room and you can hear the difference between that and the 24 track stuff from the 80′s
So I got into Stevie and Sly Stone from following the influences of the people I liked. When I read that UB40 were into Stevie Wonder it intrigued me and I wanted to find out more and now I can really hear his influence on their tracks.

When did you first start writing the type of material that you’re doing now?

IM.It was around about the turn of the millennium. Through the 80′s I’d been in Spectre and then after that I had a few years out and went back to Uni and during that period I was playing solo jazz piano at the West Yorkshire Playhouse because I’d gotten really into jazz. Towards the end of the 90′s there was a neo-soul movement with people like Eryka Badu and the The Fugees and that was really refreshing beacuse it was like contemporary soul that harked back to “What’s Going On ” and Stevie’s 70′s albums, but with a modern hip-hop feel to it. They were singing about current issues and that was a real catalyst in terms of me getting back into being a musician and writing and playing gigs.

Do you think that writing about political issues has held you back commercially?

IM: I don’t know. I think that if I did stick to more commonplace topics like love it might possibly be easier for people to get a handle on the music. It’s a hard question to answer. In terms of commercialism, I don’t mind that aspect of tailoring your sound so that someone who likes commercial or poppy music can get into it, but not so much that you’d compromise your musical integrity. It might have been easier, but it wouldn’t have been me. I got into music because I wanted to do things that I thought were good, and then if you do that well enough, hopefully other people will like it.

The programme this week is about taboos. Would you ever not write a song because you felt the subject matter might be too controversial?

IM:It’s difficult to say. A lot of the songs on “Imanifesto” do have a clear message. The ideal at the moment is to be able to say something clearly but also not be too literal. It depends where I am in my life – sometimes I can be at a point where I want to be completely direct and that’s good as well, but at the moment I like the idea of not being too obvious. There’s times when it’s good to be direct, but there are times when you can be very direct and sometimes people won’t get it. It’s surprising how many people aren’t focussed on lyrics.

Has anyone ever challenged you about any of your lyrics?

IM I haven’t had a lot of that. On the whole it’s been quite positive. I did a song called “Shame” which is about honour killings. The song was originally written about the period in about 2007 when people like Britney Spears and Amy Winehouse started to go off the rails. So I wrote about that experience and then about three years later someone that I knew who ran a Facebook page which highlighted honour killings needed some music for a video he was putting together. I was orginally going to give him an instrumental version, but when I looked at the lyrics I thought “this actually fits the subject matter” so I gave him the vocal version of the track.

The video’s quite shocking because it’s got images of acid attacks and someone said to me that every one of the victims in it were Muslims and also someone said that the same thing happens to women in the West and felt that the video might indirectly contribute to Islamophobia. So that was one instance were in a lot of ways the issue overpowered the music. When people looked at the video they commented on the video but not about the song. So that’s always a possibility if you do polemic or political music. You might get people who focus on that and the sound of the music gets overlooked . I’d like people to dig the music really, if they like the message then great, but first and foremost I’m a musician and I like to do stuff that’s entertaining and makes people feel good.

http://www.bcbradio.co.uk/musicblog/
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Old 18-07-2013, 08:27 PM   #25
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Thanks for letting us know.
Luckily I've just log on, it's been too hot to be on the computer
Will tune in at 11pm.

All the best!
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Old 19-07-2013, 04:50 AM   #26
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Thanks for letting us know.
Luckily I've just log on, it's been too hot to be on the computer
Will tune in at 11pm.

All the best!
Cheers El.

Yep, best to enjoy the sun before it goes for another year.
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Old 19-07-2013, 10:03 PM   #27
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decoded is on now.
http://www.bcbradio.co.uk/
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Old 22-07-2013, 12:17 AM   #28
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decoded is on now.
http://www.bcbradio.co.uk/
Was it a good show?

Anybody got a link to a podcast etc? Imani??
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Old 22-07-2013, 10:47 AM   #29
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Was it a good show?

Anybody got a link to a podcast etc? Imani??
It went well. Hoping to get a copy in the next 24 hours, Gareth. Friday's show went on into the wee hours, so the presenters will have been catching up on sleep over the weekend,.
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Old 22-07-2013, 10:50 AM   #30
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Yay

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Old 22-07-2013, 10:58 AM   #31
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Yay
Thank you. All good in Spain, I trust?
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Old 22-07-2013, 01:13 PM   #32
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Thank you. All good in Spain, I trust?
Aside from a sore throat (summer germs from tourists grrr) all going marvellously, thanks
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Old 22-07-2013, 05:22 PM   #33
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Aside from a sore throat (summer germs from tourists grrr) all going marvellously, thanks
That's great to hear - just watch those tourists with their germs.
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Old 23-07-2013, 10:35 AM   #34
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As promised, live radio performance from 19 July 2013 with me on piano/vocals, featuring some new material. Set list is as follows: The Robots' Rebellion, Who The Hell Are You, Heal The Mess, Stepping To The Light, Hollywood Smile, The Music Today, Truth Is Rising.

https://soundcloud.com/imani-hekima/...ive-on-win-bcb
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Old 23-07-2013, 11:23 AM   #35
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As promised, live radio performance from 19 July 2013 with me on piano/vocals, featuring some new material. Set list is as follows: The Robots' Rebellion, Who The Hell Are You, Heal The Mess, Stepping To The Light, Hollywood Smile, The Music Today, Truth Is Rising.

https://soundcloud.com/imani-hekima/...ive-on-win-bcb
Fine performance mate. Getting some truth on the Yorkshire airwaves! What a guy! Like the bit about Simon Powell, Cheryl Dole etc.

Last edited by thegatherer; 23-07-2013 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 23-07-2013, 11:37 AM   #36
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Fine performance mate. Getting some truth on the Yorkshire airwaves! What a guy! Like the bit about Simon Powell, Cheryl Dole etc.
Cheers. I had other pseudonyms for the 'Britain's Got Talons' judges but I thought it best to avoid profanity.
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:24 PM   #37
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Default politics in music

Sly Stone is one of my all-time faves too!

I saw Funkadelic in Manchester last year - that was soo much fun! They're still fantastic, as are The Specials who I was lucky enough to see at Sheffield's Tramlines recently. I presume you were there too, right IM? Definite highlight and a superb way to end the festival, I thought!

As for politics in music - it can fit in and envigour music sometimes but as for changing peoples attitudes or opening their minds, RATM and Prof. Griff (Public Enemy) will both tell you these most political of groups both failed to achieve any real change politically, despite most of these groups songs being openly and heavily politicised in some way, lyrically. I recall Zack DLR recounting a tale about a Wall Street banker who would always listen to RATM on his way into work - for a prime example. Their message obviously totally escaped him!

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Old 02-09-2013, 07:53 AM   #38
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Sly Stone is one of my all-time faves too!

I saw Funkadelic in Manchester last year - that was soo much fun! They're still fantastic, as are The Specials who I was lucky enough to see at Sheffield's Tramlines recently. I presume you were there too, right IM? Definite highlight and a superb way to end the festival, I thought!

As for politics in music - it can fit in and envigour music sometimes but as for changing peoples attitudes or opening their minds, RATM and Prof. Griff (Public Enemy) will both tell you these most political of groups both failed to achieve any real change politically, despite most of these groups songs being openly and heavily politicised in some way, lyrically. I recall Zack DLR recounting a tale about a Wall Street banker who would always listen to RATM on his way into work - for a prime example. Their message obviously totally escaped him!
Hi Danboid... much food for thought there, will come back and reply later.
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Old 10-09-2013, 04:32 PM   #39
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Sly Stone is one of my all-time faves too!

I saw Funkadelic in Manchester last year - that was soo much fun! They're still fantastic, as are The Specials who I was lucky enough to see at Sheffield's Tramlines recently. I presume you were there too, right IM? Definite highlight and a superb way to end the festival, I thought!

As for politics in music - it can fit in and envigour music sometimes but as for changing peoples attitudes or opening their minds, RATM and Prof. Griff (Public Enemy) will both tell you these most political of groups both failed to achieve any real change politically, despite most of these groups songs being openly and heavily politicised in some way, lyrically. I recall Zack DLR recounting a tale about a Wall Street banker who would always listen to RATM on his way into work - for a prime example. Their message obviously totally escaped him!
Two stories come to mind - David Cameron once said he really liked the song Eton Rifles, despite the fact that it was intended as an attack on his ilk. Then there's the true story of American bombers playing Rock The Casbah in their planes before they dropped them on the Persian Gulf in 1991. There are probably endless stories of listeners who didn't quite 'get it'.

Music is entertainment for most people and it's only a small percentage that will get into the polemics. Public Enemy or Bob Marley alone couldn't change the political and social structure, but they most definitely made an impact. Singing songs alone hasn't the power to change some aspects of society that are pretty much entrenched, although you can't deny their ability to affect people's lives and thinking. This is why it's so heavily censored in some parts of the world.
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