Boadi discusses his Awomaa EP and London’s music scene ahead of Inner City Waves #7

Next month sees the seventh instalment of Inner City Waves at Band on the Wall and we’ve another diverse line-up, comprising of rising rap and R&B artists who together represent an extensive range of contemporary urban music in the UK. British soul vocalist, songwriter and producer Boadi, an independent artist based in South London, is one supreme young talent taking to the stage next month. Making waves with features on Loren’s NTS radio show, not to mention a host of other radio and online editorial spots; we’re eager to hear the sounds of his self-produced 2017 EP brought to life in the live setting. Ahead of ICW, we caught up with Boadi to discuss the EP, the inspiration he draws from his family and the respect he has for his peers in London’s creative community.

Awomaa is a beautifully-produced EP, measuring up in sound and vision to several released on major labels in 2017. Having co-produced and written the material, can you share with us your initial vision for the record, some details of how and where it was recorded and your thoughts on it now looking back?

‘Aye!! Thanks, I loved making Awomaa, I’ve learnt so much from my first EP which helped me massively creating material for this project. Initially I knew what I wanted sonically which would predominantly feature live instrumentation. I recorded it all in my bedroom; when I say this people look at me like I’m crazy.’

The title track has such a warming and heartfelt sentiment, do you find your immediate family and the love you share to be a constant inspiration source, or is this song more of a one-off surge of feeling?

‘I’ve got a very big family, they are always here to help me in any way they can. The love I have for them pours into my music in one way or another. Awomaa is about the love I have for my mum and who I do this for. I just had to express the feelings that I have towards her, she’s just my heartbeat. She also makes the best Jollof rice in the world.’

Aesthetically, the EP bears a resemblance to some of Kendrick’s recent artwork, with the serif font, understated layout and subtle grain. Was the minimalism of Untitled Unmastered and later DAMN. an influence on the aesthetic, or did ideas come from an altogether different place?

‘LOL wow. Love for the comparison. I took inspiration from Sade’s album ‘Diamond Life’ & Luther Vandross ‘Give Me the Reason’ album.’

There’s an abundance of wonderful music emanating from South London at present, whether it be jazz, grime, RnB, a stylistic fusion or something completely fresh and far out. As an artist hailing from the region, what has your experience of South London been like over the last 18 months, who or what has impressed and inspired you and what do you hope to see happen for aspiring artists South of the river?

‘Haha, South London is the place to be am I right? London in general is popping at the moment there’s so much talent it’s unreal. There are so many artists to name that I’m digging right now, I can’t name them all. These are exciting times ahead trust me. I just want the scene to be booming.’

You often play with your band The Banku Powers; how did the group come together and is it one that sees members coming and going as life dictates, or one that hasn’t and may never change?

‘Well I’ve met the band through mutual friends and musicians. Now that I think of it I met my drummer Jeremy off gumtree of all places. He’s a G. The band is always changing and growing. Yeah, there is a general nucleus of the band it does interchange.’

As an artist in 2018, what provides the greatest impetus to create? Do you encounter artistic difficulties and if so, how have you overcome and processed those? Furthermore, have you any advice for aspiring artists sharing similar circumstances to yourself?

‘The hardest thing for me is finding inspiration and at times, motivation. I find that to get inspiration I have to experience new things and learn from my mistakes.’

Boadi performs live at Inner City Waves #7 alongside Dámì, Th3 Dose and Clemxnt on 15th February. Entry is free and registration is recommended. Check out videographer James Arnold’s fantastic film documenting the last Inner City Waves showcase, below.