London,UK

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©2018 JanetKumah

©2018 JAAKMusic

janet kumah

So I remember the initial pages in this journey of music, when I first started experimenting with words. I did a lot of writing on the tube. After work - if I were lucky enough to find a seat, I’d nestle down and start writing poems. Poems about past loves, current hurt, my fears, my dreams and aspirations, my fights at work and my tears at home. Over-time I’d connect the words into melodies. My melodies turned into choruses and then verses, and then they became songs.

I’ve always felt an affinity with soul, old soul, rhythm and bluesy type soul-stresses that sang like they were reading out of your diary. These vocalists had gravel in their throat, a base in their tone and a punch in their delivery that hit you in your belly. Hearing those singers made me feel connected, understood and powerful. Sometimes with the lyrics I couldn't always hear what they were saying but it didn't matter because the vocal delivery was so raw in it's pang of pain and tears of joy; it's matter-of-factness in regrets and it's vulnerabilities in loves. That’s what I wanted to make - music like that. That didn’t need much by way of words, which found simplicity in what it said, and how it said it.

On tour , Spain

London, 02 Islingotn 

Several years ago, I was introduced to Ska and Rocksteady, to me it was like a Jamaican version of Motown with its use of sweet BV’s, catchy hooks and uncomplicated song structure. I was already a big fan of Motown so the move into this genre felt like a beautiful fit.

 

'The Delegators' was born in the back room of the bass players house. We’d meet together to rehearse and write music. Together we toured parts of Europe and the UK, playing Glastonbury festival, Latitude festival, The Secret Garden Party, Rototom Sun-Splash and Notting Hill carnival - but to name a few. We pressed vinyls and CDs and T-shirts. Did radio appearances, headlined events and supported great bands along the way.

Glastonbury, UK

European tour

Photographer Richard Carter 

Performance in Germany

European tour 

On tour , Spain

European tour

6 years we were together, such a wonderful time of growth and development and learning of music and song writing. I was sad when we broke up but we all knew it was time. And I knew that I would take what I’d learnt and put it into something that was all me.

Who am I now, on my own? I have all these ideas ruminating in my head with no idea how to get them out. 

A friend reached out and invited me over to Sweden to jam in his studio. I hadn’t planned on writing an album; I just wanted to dedicate some time into having fun in the studio again - with no pressures. But by the end of my 3-day trip we had come up with 3 songs. I flew back some months later and boom! Another 4 songs! 7 in total.

John: "so err.., J, we’ve got like 7 songs".

Me:   "yea.." 

John: "so what are you thinking? About these songs?"

Me:   "ermm..i don’t know"

John: "well, you know a few more and we could have an album"

 

A big, fat, smile crept onto my face. The thought had crossed my mind that this could be an album but I daren’t say it out loud in case I jinxed it and it turned out not be very good. Well, a year & some months later and here we are, adding finishing touches to not 7 but 12 tracks. 

So that’s my story in a nutshell. And this album is just me, just me and the lovely John whose been my wonderful co-producer in delivering this bundle of laughs, tears and joy that I call my debut album 'Yellow Flower.'

On tour ,European

Photographer Richard Carter 

Photographer Emmanuel Adeyemi

I share my journey with pictures on the road and video clips in the studio and in rehearsal.

It’s so very exciting entering this phase as a solo artist. My hope is that I can play at a town near you and dance and sing in my usual crazy way. Until then happy listening! 

Interview & live performance with Robert Elms, BBC London Radio

Oh, and one more thing…I want to thank all the amazing well wishers for your beautiful words of support. I really do appreciate all the positive vibes you’ve sent my way. Thank you!

 

J x 

Background Photography by Philippa Robsinson