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Do yourself a big favour this month, and go watch the video for Let’s Dance by Ibibio Sound Machine. Eno Williams, lead singer and fashion inspiration gets down to the Nigerian beats accompanied by brass and graphic backgrounds. It’ll restore your faith in humanity, I promise you, and you’re bound to be a fan if you enjoy the tunes of tUnE-yArDs and M.I.A. Ibibio Sound Machine wowed the crowds at Latitude last summer with their African folk and jazz sounds and plan to do the same again when they play the Arts Centre this month. I found out more about what Eno thinks of the World Music genre and how influencial the melting pot of London has been on their music.

ow did the band meet and come together?

We'd all been working in the London music scene and most of us knew each other in some way. Max and I spoke about how it'd be interesting to try something in the Ibibio language I grew up with, as it had been very little documented musically. Tat's how we started off; Max knew Leon who'd been working on some ideas separately with Benji, so we got together with them and the rest flowed from that. Have you been singing all your life? Yes, I grew up singing in church in Nigeria with my mum and sisters. You must have a wide variety of musical lineages in the group. How do you work together when recording and song writing? Everyone brings something unique to the sound, so it all fits together remarkably easily. In fact, each member's individual musical background is essential to the sound of what we do. To what extent is your music influenced by multicultural London? Very much so. I think we are a distinctly multicultural band and that diversity is a real feature of the sound we make. I don't think we could have come up with our sound anywhere else but London in fact! You signed to Soundway records late last year. How did that feel when it happened? It was great to get things underway with releasing our album. Soundway is a great label with a fantastic catalogue, so it was nice to be picked up by a company whose output you have a lot of respect for. You sing some gospel songs on the album. Is religion a part of your life now, and was it growing up? Yes, I've always been very grounded by and connected to the spirituality that was instilled in me by my family growing up. Your Autumn/Winter tour is supported by Arts Council England. Where else have you found support for your music along the way? Te Arts Council has been very supportive of us and we're extremely grateful for that - we couldn't have done a lot of the touring we've done without their help. BBC6 music has really been in our corner as well, so we are very thankful to them for 'getting' what we are all about! Were you surprised not to be nominated for the Mercury Music Prize? I felt you

20 / February 2015/

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