Fri. Oct. 22, 2021

Boddhi Satva, Athenai & C Robert Walker – Who Am I

Lost but not least! Boddhi Satva feat Athenai & C Robert Walker – Who Am I (Atjazz Love Soul Remix) (Vega Records)

One of a kind is without a single doubt the first expression comin’ to mind. This whenever givin’ a listen to the self introspective ‘Who Am I’. A masterpiece dating from 2010 which appeared as the first offshot from Boddhi Satva‘s ‘Invocation’ album…

‘Who Am I’ remains more than ever up-to-date to say the least. Thus reminding us as to how we’re supposedly more than our outer appearance at the end. More than the image displayed on the social networks as a matter of fact. And, in the meantime, warning us against all sorts of preconcieved ideas. With spoken word artist Athenai takin’ the lead along with smooth chorus courtesy of C Robert Walker. Meanwhile Atjazz, in charge of the remix duties, gives it a delicate and cinematic feel. Injecting vibrant string lines over a swingin’ bass-driven rhythm pattern. And, by that, signing one of his best remixes ever.

Who am I? The question remains eternal. Even though this gem gives some elements of response as to who its protagonists are…

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As much as I can refer to Boddhi Satva, the first word comin’ to mind are humility, magnetism and spirituality. The latter being the central hallmark of his music which has most likely no equal in the world. With the man using the thread of Soul Music to come up with subtle and vibrant compositions. Meanwhile pretty much bringing African music styles to a new dimension. And, as a direct consequence, changing the way we may perceive it at the end. And here we go with the said Ancestral Soul speakin’ of which Boddhi widely stands as the father of. But what is Ancestral Soul at the end?

When music stands as the soundtrack of universal rituals, that’s Ancestral Soul. Ancestral Soul can be an intense argument between poassionate lovers. It can also be a hot blooded freestyle session. When not a revolutionary political speech by life instruments along with turntables.
When music takes over the night, when positive energy is in the air and the mysteries of the unseen come out… Then that’s Ancestral Soul.

When music conquers the spirits and electrifies then bodies… And when one needs no word to seduce, to serenade, to heal, to love and to share… That’s Ancestral Soul. With the same occuring when deep House Music has modern Congolese Rumba as wife. West African voices as mistresses. And urban R&B and Afro-Cuban rhythms as occasional girl friends…

Boddhi Satva made quite a sensation with his ‘Ancestral Soul Interpretations’ mixtape series back in the mid 2000’s. The Central African Republic native DJ/Producer reworking a selection of commercially and critically acclaimed R&B and Hip-Hop songs. Meanwhile adding his distinct seal to create fresh mash-up treatments for everyone. From Drake to Beyoncé and Rihanna to name a few…

The label owner of Offering Recordings, Boddhi joined the House Music’s elite back in 2008. With Louie Vega inviting him for in-house duties within the Vega stable. This as a producer and resident tour DJ.

That same year saw him releasing his debut-album – ‘Invocation’ – both on Vega Records and BBE. An album which received the support of tastemakers such as Gilles Peterson. Meanwhile setting the bar for where Boddhi Satva takes audiences. It showcased the names of various luminaries. From Oumou Sangare (‘Ngnari Konon’) to C.Robert Walker and Athenai (‘Who Am I’). Not to mention Fredy Massamba (‘Warriors Of Africa’) and Vikter Duplaix.

Boddhi‘s uniquely extensive repertoire is what affords him the sort of wide global reach he enjoys today. As a DJ, he holds down a residency in places like Middle Eastern Doha. In the meantime, his production capability drew the attention of the Kenyan directors of Coke Studio Africa. A music reality television series which gathers veteran and new school music artists of African descent.

You can see this global music network transpiring all over on Boddhi Satva‘s sophomore ‘Transition’ album. A package which features another range of outstanding artists. Beginning with Brit-Soul icon Omar on the lead single ‘Benefit’. But also Paul Randolph (‘From Me To You’). Then, last but not least Teedra Moses (‘Skin Diver’).

‘Transition’ nevertheless marked a notable departure from its predecessor. Mining deeper into the diaspora of African Soul. Meanwhile welcoming artists such as emerging Kenyan Pop/Soul singer Karun. But also Nigerian Pop star Davido and Ivorian Coupé Décalé forerunner DJ Arafat together on ‘Naughty’. All in all representing the current wave of dance-leaning club tracks popular in the West African region and beyond.
As for the signature traditional African sounds Boddhi tapped the elder statesmen. From Les Nubians (‘Beautiful’) to Mohamed Diaby. This in addition to Kaysha (‘Mama Kosa’). Then Nelson Freitas to name but a few.

Production on ‘Transition’ began late in 2012. Itself coinciding with Boddhi‘s return to his native country where his father resided. And this for the first time in 12 years. “My father used to play a lot of Jazz, Soul, Disco and off course African Rhumba…”, recalls Boddhi of his musical upbringing. “I was exposed to so many musical cultures from both my parents. Outside the house, I eventually listened to Soukouss, Ndombolo, Hip-Hop and R&B…”

“My father’s love for good music led me to develop a special sensitivity. An ear to different cultures and sounds around the world…”

Within months of that visit, Boddhi lost his dad to sudden illness. ‘Transition’ was created and released in his honor back in 2016. It underscores Boddhi Satva as a truly global cultural ambassador. Meanwhile testifying to the tenacity of the human spirit.

You might also like…
10 essential Atjazz remixes…
SIJI – Lagos Lullabye (Boddhi Satva Ancestral Soul Remix) (Ivy Records)

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