Damon Albarn introduced me to Afrobeat legend, Tony Allen, at the March 2019 Africa Express event “The Circus” and we hit it off. Tony and I played a version of Nina Simone's "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free" and decided to record together. I asked my old friend and fierce musician, Dave Okumu, to join from London and that November, in a Parisian studio, we improvised all night. When the world shut down, I used those recordings to write a record entitled “The Solution Is Restless”. This first single, “Take Me To Your Leader”, is the most incendiary on the new record. I wrote it watching Jacinda Ardern, PM of New Zealand, navigate 2020. In my dreamworld, the US asks to meet her in order to learn how to better run the country. “Take me to your leader/ ‘cause I’m ready to play/ can’t hold my breath any longer/ word on the street is she’s a healer/ I’m know I’m down to obey/ and don’t we need a break in the chaos”
Tony Allen was the drummer and musical director of Fela Kuti’s band Africa '70 from 1968 to 1979, and was one of the primary co-founders of the genre of Afrobeat. Fela once stated that, "without Tony Allen, there would be no Afrobeat” and he was described by Brian Eno as "perhaps the greatest drummer who has ever lived". Besides many other musical milestones and collaborations, in recent years Tony teamed up with Damon Albarn, Paul Simonon and Simon Tong to form The Good, the Bad & the Queen.
Dave Okumu is best known for fronting the Mercury Music Prize band The Invisible and more recently announcing the release of a solo album ‘Knopperz’ due for release in September.
1. The Barbarian
2. Get My Bearings (feat. Damon Albarn)
3. Take Me To Your Leader
5. Dinner Date
6. Enter The Dragon
7. Geometry Of You
8. The Love Has Got Me
9. Perfect Shade Of Blue