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L.A. Salami

L.A. Salami (Lookman Adekunle Salami) is a singer/songwriter from London known for crafting magnetic blues-rock songs with a postmodern twist. After emerging with a handful of short-form releases in the early 2010s, he delivered his full-length debut, Dancing with Bad Grammar, in 2016. By his third album, 2020's The Cause of Doubt & a Reason to Have Faith, he was fostering a more experimental approach, while 2022's Ottoline found him further eluding the blues specification, preferring his output to be considered lyric-driven music. Salami was fostered when he was two months old and grew up with both his birth mother in Peckham, South London, and his foster family in Broadstairs on the English coast. Most of his teens and early twenties were spent on the move; he rarely settled in one place for more than a few months at a time. It was this lifestyle that provided him a unique insight into life in the city, something that he would later use to fuel his songwriting, both lyrically and conceptually. Salami's love for music began when he first heard Bob Dylan on the radio, subsequently leading him to explore more blues and folk music and inspiring him to write his own songs. Unfortunately, he couldn't afford his own instrument and wasn't introduced to one until he was given a guitar for his 21st birthday. After three months of soul-searching, tapping into different creative avenues, and sleeping rough, Salami eventually had his first few songs written and set out to land some gigs. Success came knocking after relentless gigging, starting with a tour support slot for Lianne La Havas in 2012. His performances were met with a resoundingly positive response, ultimately landing him a spot on the roster of independent London label Camouflage Recordings, which put out his first official release, the Another Shade of Blue EP, in 2013. Salami was commended for his unwavering ability to tell stories through his songs, as well as for his skill at evoking a plethora of emotions through a grandiose sound with just his voice and an acoustic guitar. Further praise for his live performances eventually caught the attention of Burberry Fashion, which approached the young performer about playing an opening set at the 2014 Burberry Menswear Summer Collection in Hyde Park. That performance earned him further coverage and an ever-burgeoning fan base; Salami was also lauded by Zane Lowe, who described the young artist as a future star of BBC Radio One. He went on to release his second effort, the Prelude EP, in 2014, and spent the following year recording his debut full-length effort, Dancing with Bad Grammar, with prestigious producer Matt Ingram (Paloma Faith, Tom Odell) at the renowned Urchin Studios in London. Incorporating influences like Neil Young, Elliott Smith, and Joni Mitchell in addition to Dylan, it was released on Sunday Best Recordings in mid-2016. Over the next two years, Salami began penning songs that reflected the deteriorating state of the planet, resulting in a collection of tracks that highlighted how a select group of elites was vying for worldwide control. He took his efforts to Berlin to record alongside producer Robbie Moore, resulting in his second full-length, City of Bootmakers, released in April 2018. The next year, Salami issued the Walkabout EP before following it up in early 2020 with the Pete Lyons co-produced Self-Portrait in Sound EP. His third full-length, the self-produced The Cause of Doubt & a Reason to Have Faith, which saw Salami drifting into more experimental pastures, was issued in July of the same year on Sunday Best. He produced his next album, October 2022's Ottoline, with Lyons. Comprising 14 tracks with a combined run time of nearly an hour, it featured album recordist Steve Bentley-Klein on strings and flute.
© Rob Wacey & Marcy Donelson /TiVo


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