Speak, the title of bassist Michael Olatuja’s debut album, holds deep personal meaning for its creator, exemplifying in a single word the album’s underlying themes of hope, encouragement, inspiration and positivity. The album, which will be released on July 28 on Backdrop, ObliqSound’s sub-label focusing on modern electronic and groove-based music, tells the story of the British/Nigerian artist’s musical and personal journey. “The language of music is one that we all speak,” Olatuja explains. “It unites diverse cultures.”
The ten songs on Speak find Olatuja stepping out of his role as sideman and finally presenting his personal vision as producer and composer. With musical influences and guests from around the world, the album touches on each spot Olatuja has hit around the globe, including his childhood in London and Lagos, Nigeria, and his professional years in London and New York. Speak is clearly the album Olatuja has been working toward his entire career and points to a strong future....
What a curious cocktail of African music, jazz, soul, and gospel Michael Olatuja has cooked up on Speak.... Put it all together and it shows Olatuja to be an excellent composing talent with a great future. -All Music Guide
Speak unquestionably speaks the potent language of music on a soulful level....highly recommended listening. -Soultracks.com
Speak is a stunning debut from a talented artist. -Soulmatters Mag
...a mix of hip hop, neo-soul, and sultry r&B/jazz that soothes the soul. -Jamati Online
This cat, who's come seemingly out of nowhere, made a record that reveals a talent far beyond merely being able to pluck a four-stringed instrument....It's worth keeping tabs on Mr. Olatuja to see what he will do for an encore. -Somethingelsereviews.com
Speak sounds fantastic...I'm only sad I wasn't playing on it. -Jools Holland
Michael's virtuosity and musical diversity make him one of the most unique bass players around today -Peter Cincotti
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