In celebration of the 40th anniversary of The Clash’s landmark album London Calling, KEXP will travel to London for a 4-day live broadcast and online event, featuring live performances and exclusive interviews. Ghostpoet will take the Studio 9294 stage on Wednesday, February 6 alongside fellow UK bands Shopping, Piroshka, and Chemtrails. Get familiar with Ghostpoet below.
For nearly a decade, Obaro Ejimiwe has been making music under the name Ghostpoet. In that time, the UK artist has been nominated twice for the prestigious Mercury Music Prize, first with 2011’s Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam and again in 2015 for the record Shedding Skin.
His most recent album, Dark Days + Canapés, was released in 2017. Ahead of its release, KEXP featured the single “Immigrant Boogie” as our Song of the Day. The track features backing vocals from Charlie Steen of Shame, as well as Leo Abrahams of Wild Beasts and Frightened Rabbit on guitar.
Ejimiwe described the song in a statement to DIY Magazine:
“It’s a first-person account of a difficult journey across borders, partly intended to ask those who have questioned the arrival of refugees in recent times what they would do in the same situation. The song is written in two halves — the first hopeful for a brighter future, while the second sees hope snatched away by forces beyond the control of the storyteller. There is an important story to be told there, but I wrote the song in a way that aims to capture a broader human truth: that while we are all working for a better life for ourselves, we have to accept that we are not in control of the outcome.”
KEXP spoke to Ghostpoet about the significance of the Clash in a brief interview. Read below.
What does The Clash mean to you and have they inspired your music at all?
They were one of the most unique and electrifying bands the United Kingdom has ever produced. Lucky us. Inspiring my music? I wouldn't say so but like many, I have a huge respect for their body of work. Joe Strummer was one hell of a writer.
Do you find there to be parallels between the lyrical content and ethos of London Calling and the current state of England?
Well, it's rather London-centric no?! The United Kingdom is currently in a sorry state for sure, could this particular song be part of a soundtrack of our current times?...possibly. Hoping for better times though, we can't eat shit forever, surely.
What can audiences expect from your performance for KEXP's International Clash Day London broadcast?
God, I don't have a clue. I plan to merely enjoy myself and melt ears and minds in the process.
Ghostpoet will perform at KEXP’s International Clash Day London broadcast at 6:00 AM PST / 2:00 PM GMT on Wednesday, February 6. Check out the full schedule of performances here. Watch the video for “Immigrant Boogie” below.
Vanishing Twin will perform at KEXP's International Clash Day London broadcast on Tues, Feb. 5
Avalanche Party will perform at KEXP's International Clash Day London broadcast on Monday, Feb. 4