Lookman Adekunle Salami, better known as simply L.A. Salami, doesn’t shy away from saying how he feels. The south-Londoner is a self-proclaimed “optimistic cynic.” His folk songs reflect the same complexities, both through his stream-of-consciousness styled verses and a lyrically dense, sometimes topical nature.
Songs like the recent “Terrorism! (The Isis Crisis)” might seem inarguably political, but the sentiment is meant to be exploratory. “I don’t think I see myself as a political artist, I see myself as an emotional artist,” Salami said. “I think that’s what’s missing. There’s not enough people who are really, really emotionally affected to the point where it could come out in their work. They’re emotionally affected in a way that they can’t process it … to be able to make art out of it … There’s just so much nuance to issues.”
Salami’s newest album, “The City Of Bootmakers,” edges slightly out of the folk territory and more into a jangly rock, with splashes of organ coloring the sound, and peppy beats giving a lighter buoyancy to his loquacious lines. Because of, or maybe in spite of, the kaleidoscopic air of these songs, Salami advises listeners to take on the new record with space to find their clarity, or just enjoy them.
“I think people should listen to my music as they’re lying down to go to bed, it probably should be headphones,” Salami said. “But if you don’t wanna risk ear damage, listen to it on the stereo I guess.”