***SPECIAL EDITION TRANSLUCENT RED COLOUR VINYL***
Big Crown Records is proud to present Ekundayo, Liam Bailey’s debut record on the label.
Bailey, born and raised in Nottingham, England, the son of an English mother and Jamaican father, got his early influences from his mom’s record collection. Bob Marley and Dillinger, Stevie Wonder and The Supremes, The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix would eventually shape the singer/songwriter we know today.
The album is called Ekundayo. And the word's meaning may be all you need to know to get to the essence of this project. It means "sorrow becomes joy" in Yoruba, a language spoken mostly in Western Africa. Liam's potently unique voice has always had to fight against label agendas to get through. Now, teaming back up with Leon and his production, that restraint has given way to a pure, liberating freedom that trusses up the entire record like a spine.
On the surface, Ekundayo is a weighty Reggae record, full of new and old textured riddims. But listen more in-depth, and you'll find subject matter that's more recognizable from a modern-day R&B record.
An example of the former is the first single off the album. Sung to the most beautiful woman at the nightspot, Champion is a joyous anthem powered by a silly-thick Juno-bass throb and 808-proof drums. In short, Champion is dancehall ready. But then there's a song like "Don't Blame NY." Moody and sparse with a sombre drive, you might have to resist the urge to compare it to a Frank Ocean-ish type vibe. Liam's voice is in a different but fitting element here, showing stripped-back emotion and soulful restraint. Anyone who has lived and tried to thrive in New York won't have a hard time relating to the lyrics but they may join the masses who blame the city, while Liam points the finger at himself and sings praises to The Big Apple.
Credit to Leon's hand, elements of Jamaican production are everywhere, peppered throughout the record. Like the pitch-perfect organ stabs that push through the authentically positive "White Light," or the muted, percussive guitar strums that chug along in the back of "Fight."
- Bright Light
- Don't Blame NY
- Cold & Clear
- Angel Dust
- Ugly Truth
- Young In Love
- She Hates This Life
- Where Do I Start?
- Paper Tiger