The World Is Not Ready for Obongjayar
His latest release "Endless" marks him out as a special artist, one for whom music goes beyond creative expression and into exploration.
As children, we unconsciously learn to fear death. On car journeys, in solemn and sleepless nights or as a backdrop to a tragic moment in an otherwise innocent television show, a space forms. It asks things like: what comes after life, is there anything there beyond nothingness, a vast expanse past which we cannot think, feel or see – and, at such a young age, communicate – without fear?
Even as adults, death is couched in the distinct, hushed tones of taboo. How we view it is aligned with religion, marred with the personal experience that've come to form our world. Often, we simply avoid the subject. To talk about death is to agree with our own mortality. But there's also a beauty to be found in bereavement, should you so choose. A rebirth of sorts, as taught by Bardo Thodol, The Tibetan Book of Death. Like all things in life, there is a yin and a yang: a darkness opposing the light.
This spiritual mid-point is where Nigerian born, London-based artist Obongjayar operates. Or at least that's how his latest release "Endless" feels, looks, breathes – and is described. Of the track and video Obongjayar says: "It explores the celebration of life in death. How we never really die but live through our work and our effects on the people around us and our environment."
Sacred yet lurid and somber, the track marks Obongjayar out as one of those special artists. He's one for whom music is part of a wider expression, used to explore the amorphous contents of life and emerge with a creation that explains as much or more than any book or film ever could. The track features on a new, upcoming EP. For now though, celebrate: "Endless" is a dark triumph.
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