Dave Okumu & The 7 Generations

  • Main Stage
    Monday 15•July•2024

You have musicians who prefer to be alone to write music and you have musicians who cannot help but seek connections with others. British singer-songwriter and producer Dave Okumu is a musician of the second kind. The foundation for this was undoubtedly laid in the family where he grew up; Okumu is the youngest of eight children and music was ubiquitous. From his older sisters, he learned about eighties funk and soul while his brother taught him to play guitar. Those early stimuli ensured that young Okumu quickly knew what he wanted to do with his life. He quickly became successful; the debut album of The Invisible, his first group, was immediately good for a prestigious Mercury Prize nomination in 2009. A year later, Okumu would meet Jessie Ware with whom - this time as a producer - he was nominated a second time for the Mercury Prize for Ware's debut album 'Devotion'.

Okumu's great desire to collaborate is effortlessly granted from then on. Everyone from Amy Winehouse and Adele to Ghost Poet, Jordan Rakei, St Vincent, Tony Allen and even Yoko Ono and his great hero Grace Jones come to him for guidance, inspiration and production work. He is praised for his encyclopaedic knowledge of music, his composure and his sense of dynamics. All this is also reflected in his own work. In 2021, he still does it instrumentally on 'Knopperz' but on last year's 'I Came From Love', the Brit unbends in all his glory. Under the moniker Dave Okumu & the 7 Generations - which Okumu sees as "my real ancestors, the ancestors of others, my musical ancestors and my descendants" - he creates a kaleidoscopic whirlwind of sounds. Heavy bass rhythms, neo-soul-tinged outbursts and frenzied spoken word race by. Okumu leads the way, backed by Tom Skinner on drums, Nick Ramm on keys and Aviram Barath on synths. "I want to learn how to connect with people and how to communicate because this is what life is about." Let's connect, Dave, let's connect.