Video Exclusive: BJ Smith covers Mos Def's Umi Says | New music reviews, news & interviews
Video Exclusive: BJ Smith covers Mos Def's Umi Says
A stunning nu-Balearic cover of the hip hop soul classic
We're extremely proud to be able to present this charming exclusive video by the London multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter (and animator) BJ Smith - a ray of sunshine in the winter greyness. It comes from the forthcoming Dedication to the Greats release on the Nu Northern Soul label, which features Smith's acoustic covers of tracks by hip hop artists: The Pharcyde's "Runnin'", and the track featured here, Mos Def's "Umi Says".
Smith has been a low-key but impressive presence in underground music for a while now, collaborating regularly with international festival favourites Crazy P, and with no less a luminary than Holger Czukay of Can in the psychedelic rock band Bison. He developed a taste for creating radical cover versions after a remix commission from Crazy P turned into a complete acoustic re-recording, and this quickly led to the two balmy, gently psychedelic tracks on Dedication...
BBC 6Music's Gilles Peterson says that this track in particular will be "the soundtrack to sunrises around the world for years to come", and we're inclined to agree: it's a song that warms up and opens up quite magically over its four dreamy minutes. The double a-side single is being released as a limited vinyl package with hand-printed artwork by Liverpool artist TOMO. We strongly recommend getting a cup of tea, putting aside distractions and taking in the self-drawn video in its entirety.
Watch BJ Smith's "Umi Says":
Subscribe to theartsdesk.com
Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £2.95 per month or £25 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.
To take an annual subscription now simply click here.
And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?
more New music
Brighton's Earsthetic Festival kicks off with an eye-popping double bill
The soundtrack music of a domestically lauded Russian composer holds its own against that of a British household name
A mixed, and partially recycled bag, but the best songs are screamingly vivid
One of the stranger outings for liberation theology
A drippy, if anthemic, second date with the latest teen dreams
Live-show charisma lifts anodyne material
A night of highs as the US rock band tackle 'Low'
Music that surfs the elation of post-colonial freedom
What are the elements that make up Einaudi's music?
Nostalgia and nonsense on Irish siblings' big return
Mammoth, warts-and-all compendium of what the Seventies superstar got up to behind closed doors
All-star trio delivers meticulously crafted performances of new material