Up until now London singer-songwriter Ofei has been an elusive character, shunning interviews to ensure it’s the music that does all the talking. This air of mystique surrounding the man behind the dreadlocks has only heightened the anticipation for his debut release – the London EP. Written, arranged and produced all entirely by himself, it’s a dynamic mix of distorted R&B and haunted soul; Ofei’s vocals shifting from raw power to quivering vulnerability in a flash.
Despite appearances in early 2013 supporting none other than Kendrick Lamar and Shuggie Otis in New York, alongside his one man shows at festivals across the UK, it wasn’t until October last year that the enigmatic man was fully revealed to the world, in the video for his sparse, piano-led track ‘Tomorrow’. Like everything Ofei does, it left us with more questions than answers. Lucky we were given the rare opportunity to talk to the man himself then…
Hi Ofei, Thanks for taking the time to talk to us. You’ve kept a refreshingly low profile up until now, letting the music do the talking, was that always your intention?
Nah, I just take each day as it comes. Spontaneity and instinct kind of takeover when you’re in love, they’re the governor, I’m merely a spectator. Oh and thank you for your support! Means a lot!
Trying to figure out what they put in the chicken satay sauce at Philippe’s in New York. My money’s on caramel! The whole experience has been one huge highlight, I’m feeling very blessed!
Tell us about the London EP…
This EP, and album, represent a specific period of my life. May 27th 2011 was the day it started. I remember Kevin Hart was playing at the o2 and I was meant to go but ended up on Brick Lane putting the world-to-rights over a bagel. The EP is 3 snapshots from that part of my life.
‘London’, May 28th 2011 – “A change must be made!”
‘Tomorrow’ – “Be careful!….it’s f***ed-up out there!”
‘Fate’ - “Listen to your instinct…it knows what to do”
Each song has a story long enough to grow a beard too.
What are your biggest influences?
My life, my family, my friends. These are the things that move me and inspire me to create songs.
Live it’s been a one-man show up until a few months ago. Can we expect more of the full band set-up in 2014?
Absolutely. Ramping the stage show up and down as and when is all part of the fun. There’s many options on how to showcase this.
And finally, what are your hopes and aspirations for 2014? We see you’ve already been snapped up for SXSW!
I just aspire to be the best version of myself possible. That and to meet the chef at Philippe’s in New York.
Thanks Ofei and best of luck for the future