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Revivalist Exclusive: Lionel Loueke - Honoring Your Heritage


Lionel Loueke is a different type of musician. Not bound by the conventional techniques and thought processes, Loueke has pursued music his entire life through an entirely original set of eyes. Even upon moving from Benin to France and on to Boston where where he was exposed to the history behind the music he pursued, Loueke managed to keep his mind open to the endless possibilities the music allowed him and that has translated into an unmatched sense of originality, rhythmic innovation, and musical bliss. On August 28th, 2012 Lionel will release his most recent endeavor entitled “Heritage” which features co-proudcer and pianist Robert Glasper, bassist Derrick Hodge, and drummer Mark Guiliana. In collaboration with Blue Note Records, Revive Music was there to capture the intense moments that led to the creation of this incredible album. Check out sister site The Revivalist's interview with Lionel as well as some footage from the sessions.

Lets start off talking about the new record and how you brought this group together.

I had a meeting with Don Was about two different projects. The project that he liked and I liked was this one. It was clear that this time I wanted to do something more electric. I had a chance to play with Robert Glasper many times here in New York. The whole idea I think came from when I was a special guest with the Experiment, his group. Don Was was there. I played with Herbie and then I was a special guest with Glasper. We played some of my old compositions that they knew. It was great. So I was like, “That’s the band,” you know? Don Was was like, “What about recording with these guys?” I thought it was a great idea because I was thinking the same, you know? But having a different drummer, Mark Guiliana, made a big difference as well. It changed the way Robert sounded. Bringing in a new drummer brings something different. It’s a whole new approach to the music. For me it’s a real dream come true.

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What went into creating the compositions for the album?

To start with, I wanted to have simple melodies that people can remember. If you think about it, the most beautiful songs are actually very simple. One of my favorite composers of all time is Wayne Shorter. Wayne taught me that melodies are simple, your harmony may be very complicated, but the harmony is musically like the basement. It makes melodies stick out better because the foundation is strong. So you can write simple melodies if you know how to write harmony behind it. On this particular CD, most of the songs I wrote from the melodies. Usually I may start from the bass line or harmony, but most of this one was on piano. I started from the melody.

—Interview & Photos by Eric Sandler

>>>Read the full interview at Revivalist

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Photo credits: Deeds Art

Tems Is Just Doing Her Thang In New Music Video 'Crazy Tings'

The Nigerian songstress is hell bent on taking over your summer playlist and it's getting harder to resist.

It has been a fantastic year for Tems. The Nigerian singer, producer, and songwriter achieved a platinum record for eternal banger Essence, her collaboration with fellow Nigerian superstar Wizkid, an MTV EMA nomination for Best African Artist, a billion worldwide video views, and over 350 million audio streams. Not to mention featuring on Canadian rapper Drake's blowout album Certified Lover Boy, the singer has also sold out every show she's booked.

The release of Tems's sophomore EP If Orange Was a Place solidified her place amongst the greats and it was received with gusto by fans and international audiences. A month after the release the Afrobeats singer has graced fans with a sultry music video to go along with equally as tantalizing lead single Crazy Tings. Conceptualized by the multitalented Tems, and directed by UAX, the music video follows a sensual Tems as she sings about needing space from a lying partner.

International audiences continue to rave over the songstress, with Tems delivering an impressive US TV debut on late-night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live! this month. Essence continues to top international charts. While becoming the official song of the summer, the track peaked on the Billboard 100 Top 10, becoming the most Shazamed song in the United States and was remixed by Canadian musical heavyweight Justin Bieber, becoming the first song written by Nigerian artists to hit No.1 on Urban Radio.

Tems has been producing consistent hits since her debut in September 2020, and a year later, the singer's immense talent is securing her reputation as a world-class superstar.

Check out Tem's music video for single 'Crazy Tings' below

Tems - Crazy Tings (Official Video) www.youtube.com

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