Today’s tip comes from Nottingham-based urban singer-songwriter Ady Suleiman – ‘State Of Mind’ combines a jumpy off-beat groove with ambitious lyrics, taking on religion, philosophy, politics and war, all to the backdrop of Ady floating up and down a London street, bumping into Jesus along the way.
For a track that relies so heavily on its lyrical content, in parts it’s often complex. His messages are often mixed and we hear him questioning religion, politics, and even the tooth fairy in a way that reminded me of the sentiment expressed in the infamous “F*****g magnets / how do they work?” line from Insane Clown Posse’s ‘Miracles’.
By coincidence, Devonian polymath Cosmo Jarvis’s ‘Love This’ from a couple of years ago also attempts what ‘State Of Mind’ is trying to achieve. Both tracks tackle a philosophical debate about religion, with Jarvis coming out with corkers like ‘If I believe in heaven I deny myself a death / dying keeps me conscious of the way I waste my breath’, and you can see Ady’s influences in the walking-along-a-road-with-random-extras video format, although Jarvis was dressed in a devil-red skintight jumpsuit and does it all in one take. There’s even a startling similarity in physical appearance between the two men. The two are companion pieces that look at a tricky subject – check them both out and make your own mind up.
Suleiman does deserve credit for taking on such weighty topics – pop music is so often meaninglessly vapid that any attempt at social commentary is to be applauded. And the sound is very pleasant indeed – a blend of reggae, soul, and a touch of hip-hop in his delivery. So certainly one to watch, even if he might be advised to stick to singing about love for now. And I don’t say that very often.
Words by Martin Sharman
Generator North East, The Manse, Kingsland Church Studios, Priory Green, Byker, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE6 2DW
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