The London-based rapper, known to his mum as Obaro Ejimiwethe, is an esoteric sort. Schooled from the grime stable, his lyrics retain that genre’s characteristic angst, but you’re unlikely to see any macho, testosterone-fueled posturing at this gig. Ghostpoet’s rapping style is supremely mellow, gathering influences from hip hop, jazz and ambient. Or “Dizzee on Valium” as one (rather unfairly reductive) observer put it.
His dulcet, mellow tones have the nifty knack of leaving a greater impact on the listener than his shouty brethren. The uniquely jazzy delivery hooks you immediately, and his home-brewed, bedroom-generated producing skills create a cool, almost swamp-like backing of beats and melodies (a live band is accompanying his tour dates). His Ghostpoetry, if you will, is often wonderful, heavy laden with bluesy urban dread, coupled with a smattering of wry observations on the mundaneness of modern living - look out for a weary reference to a TV cookery show in ‘Longing for the Night’.
At 24, Ejimiwethe is a newcomer to the scene, having only released the well-received EP ‘The Sound of Strangers’. This London date acts as his debut album launch, on Giles Peterson’s Brownswood label (the Radio 1 DJ has been a longtime champion). With his star rising, and single ‘Cash and Carry Me Home’ getting decent airplay, this could be a chance to catch a genuine future star.
By John Nugent
Ghostpoet plays Electrowerkz (7 Torrens Street, EC1V 1NQ) on Thursday 17 February. Tickets from £8.