Lookman Adekunle Salami, better known as simply L.A. Salami, is a rare breed of musician that the world has been craving since the height of storytelling legends like Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon and Neil Young. Not quite folk, not quite indy, not quite common and certainly not boring, L.A. Salami’s lyricism and voice are hypnotic. He doesn’t shy away from saying how he feels. The south-Londoner is a self-proclaimed “optimistic cynic.” His quasi folk songs reflect the same complexities, both via his stream-of-consciousness verses and a lyrically verbose, sometimes topical nature.
Songs like “Terrorism! (The Isis Crisis)” might seem inarguably political, but the sentiment is meant to be exploratory, not confrontational.
“I don’t think I see myself as a political artist, I see myself as an emotional artist,” Salami said. “I think that’s what’s missing. There’s not enough people who are really, really emotionally affected to the point where it could come out in their work. They’re emotionally affected in a way that they can’t process it … to be able to make art out of it … There’s just so much nuance to issues.”