Championed by Gilles Peterson, Ghostpoet’s compelling material mixes mellow yet anxious lyrics with subtly addictive low-tempo beats.
Born Obaro Ejimiwe, Ghostpoet studied Media Production in Coventry, a city which Mostly Jazz, Funk and Soul locals may be upset to hear he calls “the capital of the West Midlands”. While there, he was part of a grime music collective and spent time listening to an array of artists such as Radiohead, Iggy Pop, and MF Doom. He also met a girl and, after graduating, got a customer service job with an insurance company and a mortgage. At the time, however, his rather mundane existence was punctuated by nighttime attempts to record his lispy vocals alongside electronic beats and dreams of a career in music – but progress was slow. “I was getting to the point where maybe a nine-to-five was the one for me”, Ghostpoet told the Guardian.
Soon though, everything kicked into gear. He went from being made redundant to getting a record deal with Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood Recordings in the space of a few days. Then, soon after that, his debut album Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam was nominated for a Mercury Music Prize. Q Magazine called the record “an oddly addictive hip-hop concoction of self-doubt and dread, set against a minimalist, jazzy backdrop”, while the Pop Matters praised Ghostpoet’s sound, which mixes rap, grime, blues, and dub-step, for its “compelling audacity”. Of last year, Ghostpoet said “It’s been a quick year… There’s been a lot of slow ones, but this has been quick”.