South London based collective, Slovo – featuring US hip-hip innovator Mike Ladd, Italian singer Barbarella and former Faithless guitarist, Dave Randall – have shared their final Live In Lockdown video for album track ‘Call Me’, lifted from the new album, Bread & Butterflies, out his July.
“On an unapologetically political album, ‘Call Me’ is the odd one out… It’s a song about good-old-fashioned romantic insecurity and there’s even a dash of opera to elevate the angst,” says Slovo founder, and former Faithlessguitarist and producer Dave Randall, who has contributed to multi-million selling albums by Dido, and worked with the likes of Sinead O’Connor and Emiliana Torrini. Randall is also the author of the book Sound System: The Political Power of Music(Pluto Press 2017).
In the summer of 2019, he met a kindred spirit, the Italian singer Barbarella (Barbara Pugliese, of Barbarella’s Bang Bang) at a pub in Brixton. They decided it was time to make new music for a troubled world. Randall says of the new album: “Bread & Butterflies is the third studio album Slovo has made and I think it’s our best yet. Our singer Barbarella is a stunning addition to the collective and the album also features US hip-hop visionary Mike Ladd. This feels like such a strange and pivotal time to be alive. I’ve tried to explore the issues affecting us all, and to capture some of the feelings they invoke. But above all this is an optimistic album, born of the belief that a better world is possible.”
As for their playlist for FMS: “For a long time now, I’ve felt that the world needs to change. For too long our lives have been shaped by an economic system that puts private profit before people and planet. We are living through times of crisis and current ways of thinking seem incapable of addressing the challenges we face. Songs have always helped to expand social and political horizons. They can give a voice to those whose voices are too often ignored and can bring confidence to long oppressed people. Here are ten tunes to change the world…”
1. Billie Holiday – ‘Strange Fruit’
“Written by Jewish schoolteacher and American Communist Party member, Abel Meeropol, ‘Strange Fruit’ is one of the most haunting meditations on racism in the American South ever recorded.”
2. Lord Kitchener – ‘Birth Of Ghana’
“A lovely example of international solidarity. Trinidadian calypso star, Lord Kitchener, recorded this song to celebrate the end of British colonial rule in Ghana in 1957.”
3. Fela Kuti – ‘Zombie’
“Fela was an extraordinary and contradictory artist. This dance-floor filler is a blistering attack on the Nigerian military regime.”
4. The Specials – ‘Nelson Mandela’
“The song that first made me aware of international politics. When I first heard the song, I had no idea who Nelson Mandela was, but I knew by the end of the first chorus that I wanted him to be free…”
5. Ana Tijoux – ‘Somos Sur (feat. Shadia Mansour)’
“An anthem of recent student uprisings in Chile and a call for international solidarity between oppressed peoples. I love Ana Tijoux!”
6. Kefaya – ‘Bella Ciao’
“The Italian anti-fascist anthem reimagined by the brilliant Kefaya.”
7. Abioye & Randall – ‘Electric Avenue’
“Eddie Grant’s classic celebration of the Brixton uprising of 1981 reimagined by myself and the singer / guitarist Fausat Abioye.”
8. Beyoncé – ‘Formation’
“An interesting example of a mass movements of the streets – in this case the Black Lives Matter movement – inspiring one of the world’s biggest stars.”
9. Childish Gambino – ‘This Is America’
“The success of this brilliantly thought-provoking video proved that there is a huge appetite for political ideas and social critique in mainstream music.”
10. BCUC – ‘Yinde’
“My favourite discovery from last year’s festivals. Soweto’s brilliant BCUC put fire in the belly. Fantastic stuff!”
Slovo’s ‘Call Me’ Live in Lockdown video is out now. Watch it HERE.
You can listen to all Ask the DJ playlists on the FMS Magazine Spotify CHANNEL.
Find Slovo’s playlist below and HERE.