Michael Olatuja

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.

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  • Speak by Eugene Holley, Jr.
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“A virtuoso jazz bassist whose hybridised work draws extensively on West African music”- BBC

“Bassist Michael Olatuja simply delivered a well-honed message; its project was a perpetual thing,a way of being” – New York Times

“A singular voice that taps all the cultures from which it is born.” - BBC

“His bass sound and distinct sense of time are always consistent, and are always the propelling force of the music.” – JazzInside Magazine

“Olatuja's supple, acoustic and electric bass lines that can trace their low-end ancestry to Ron Carter and Jaco Pastorius.” - All About Jazz

“Groove is something you either have or you don’t, and if groove were water, you’d have to go to Michael Olatuja’s concerts with scuba gear.” -Jazz Inside NY

“What a curious cocktail of African music, jazz, soul, and gospel Michael Olatuja has cooked up on Speak...

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