Describing himself as an Afro-futurist, Alxndr London's piercingly soulful songwriting has been a favourite of ours for a few years now. Now he's back with a new single, "Talking Drum", which he'll be officially releasing tomorrow.
On the face of it, "Talking Drum" is another thoughtful soul number but further listens will bring out all the other elements at play. Having been raised on Gospel music and African Spirituals, that rich heritage makes itself heard, as do Alxndr's fascination with the frontiers of electronic music. As experimental as it is, "Talking Drum" remains impressively grounded and, regardless of your experience or background, deeply moving. Because of all that, each new listen becomes more rewarding than the last.
Speaking with Complex via email, London told us: "The song is inspired by gospel songs. I would hum and sing along to the hymns and African Spirituals. Talking drum is my prayer. I pray that the waves will receive and guide the diaspora back home. I pray that it is not too late for change. I pray that these strange, foreign lands are a thing of yesterday. This song not only captures elements of classic soul music, I also have the liberty of exploring minimal electronica to create a prayer like chant, capturing the hallucinatory, euphoric, floating sensation of surrendering to the unknown, in this case water."
Catch Alxndr London when he headlines the Jazz Cafe, London on September 11.