Three years after ‘Udeme’, Lasisi out with ‘Comforti’
With poet, satirist and journalist, Akeem Lasisi, the potential of poetry cannot be fully realised until it is performed. He has proved this with his performance poetry, which started on the stage and later graduated to the screen.
His poetry albums and videos have made the art become popular with some of them competing favourably with hip hop, pop songs and even traditional genres such as highlife and fuji. Chief of his poetic offerings are ‘Eleleture’ and ‘Udeme’, which remain on air years after they were produced.
The Lagos-based poet first announced his presence with the publication of IREMOJE: Ritual Poetry for Ken Saro-Wiwa, published in 2000. This was followed by Wonderland and, later, Night of my Flight, an offshoot of the Yoruba bridal poetry.
In the last few years, however, he has been doing more of poetry performance and musical/video production than publishing. This is the tradition that gave birth to his ‘Eleleture’, ‘Udeme’, ‘Asabi Alakara’, ‘Ori Agbe, for Wole Soyinka’, ‘Jantolo’ and ‘Deadlock’.
The good news for his fans within and outside the country is that he is releasing another album next week. The album titled ‘Comforti’ is, according to him, a combination of romance, politics, tributes and more. The album has 10 tracks – five tracks more than what he has in ‘Udeme’. According to him, the expansive nature of the work is an indication that he has continued to remain loyal to poetry.
He says, “The acceptance and encouragement that we continue to get from people are also a factor. In each track, I experiment with a particular genre, mating poetry with a different voice – in terms of another artiste or musical form. The need to represent such voices also inspired me to make the album large.”
While the title track, ‘Comforti’, is a romantic piece, some of the other tracks in the album are said to centre on politics (‘Onarebu’), celebration of cities (‘Three Wise Men’, which is from ‘Phenomenal Lagos’, which Lasisi co-produced with Kabir Garba) and a dirge (‘Signature’, for the late Chief Rasheed Gbadamosi).
Lasisi, however, notes that the album is also coming with three videos Asabi Alakara ‘Jantolo’ and ‘Onarebu’.
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