Meet Aimua Eghobamien:
With a dad who listened to a world of music from British pop to Highlife and Calypso; a mum who sang him a do lullabies; and siblings who were interested in all things AmericanMotown, soul, US pop and R&B chartshis musical tastes developed without limitations. Living at various points on three continents, he has experienced at firsthand Nigerian drums and folk, European pop and American R&B. His own performance experience includes theatre, gospel, rock, pop, Contemporary Christian, R&B and the blues.
This London-born singer presents a style that is elegant and truthful, simple yet sophisticated. He settles into a lyric honestly and without haste, letting the song do the telling, producing something that is altogether unique and very much his own.
His debut album, Poured Gently
, combines fresh and unusual arrangements of jazz and pop standards from Duke Ellington
, Thelonious Monk
, Gershwin, Stevie Wonder
and Bon Jovi, with haunting and melodic original compositions and thoughtful lyrics. In collaboration with New York-based pianist, composer and arranger Glafkos Kontemeniotis, Eghobamien ensures that Poured Gently
produces a concept that sets a definite mood, entertains and quietly tells a story.
Eghobamien studied Jazz Vocal Performance and Creative Writing at university in New York.Instrument(s):
Voice.Teachers and/or influences?
Teachers: Barry Harris
, Sheila Jordan
, Neil Mackie,Mark Oswald, Lillias White.
Influences: Nina Simone
,Nat King Cole
.I knew I wanted to be a musician when...
When I first heard the recording of "In A Sentimental Mood," by Duke Ellington and John Coltrane, I knew I had to connect with that music somehow. I went to university to study as a pre-med student and transferred to the music department after my first year.Your sound and approach to music:
It is my belief that a good singer should get out of the way of a songphysically; to let the song come through purely and only colored by the sum total of the singer's experiences. The song uses the instrument, not the other way around.Your dream band:
I feel like I already have my ideal band in my New York crew: Glafkos Kontemeniotis on piano, Ed Kollar on double-bass, Scott Neumann
on drums and Bashiri Johnson on percussion. But if I had to choose from the number of fantastic musicians on the scene today, the dream band would be Billy Childs
on piano, Christian McBride
on double-bass and Jack DeJohnette
on drums.Your favorite recording in your discography and why? Passion Poured Gently
really expresses who I am and who I want to be as a musician. I always feel magical when I perform it. I am transported when I listen to it.The first Jazz album I bought was:
I honestly don't remember.What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?
The same thing I hope any musician would: a point of view that is original and distinctly personal.CDs you are listening to now:
Marvin Sapp, Here I Am
Heather Headley, Audience Of One
(EMI CMG);Louis Armstrong
, An American Icon [box set]
& k. d. Lang, A Wonderful World
, New Moon Daughter
(Blue Note).Desert Island picks:
Duke Ellington & John Coltrane, Duke Ellington & John Coltrane
(Impulse! );Bill Evans
, Everybody Digs Bill Evans
(JVC XRCD);Shirley Horn
, Loving You
, Kind Of Blue
Damien Rice, O
(Vector Recordings).What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?
Simply...education, cooperation, innovation (creatively and socially)What is in the near future?
The new album, Poured Gently
, is out in a few days and I will be touring the UK early next year to promote it. Check my MySpace page
I am also working on a Louis Armstrong-inspired set with my collaborator, Glafkos Kontemeniotis, which is shaping up to be quite interesting as I learn more by reading up and listening to the "father of jazz." I am really excited about the arrangements we've come up with so far.
I am working on putting on a regular (monthly) evening, AIMUA + FRIENDS,' at Pizza Express in London, which will feature guests musicianssingers and instrumentalists alike; first night is Wed 27 October 2010.If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:
a fiction or poetry writer. Photo Credit
Courtesy of Aimua Eghobamien