JOHN ORPHEUS HONOURS HEROES ON FELA AWOKE (I WILL MISS YOU)
NEW ALBUM SAGA BOY SET FOR RELEASE MAY 21
PROJECT IS COMPANION TO MEMOIR OUT NOW ON PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE
“I've been travelling for so very long. Trying to find some place that feels like home. And there are many things that you can take from me. But what you can't take away, is the love that is found, In our sweet destiny.” – John Orpheus on Fela Awoke (I Will Miss You)
Toronto, ON – February 4, 2021 – Only one month into the year and Toronto artist, author, troubadour and Renaissance man, John Orpheus, continues to blaze his unique path. With the recent launch of his long awaited, highly acclaimed memoir, SAGA BOY (Penguin Random House Canada), he prepares to launch a sonic companion of the same name, to be released May 21 via The Confidence Emperors. Today, John shares SAGA BOY’s first single, Fela Awoke (I Will Miss You), a song about celebrating our heroes by letting them go to become our own. It arrives alongside a stunning visual directed by John’s longtime collaborator, Patrick Hodgson. Listen to Fela Awoke (I Will Miss You) and watch the video here.
Produced by Mike Schlosser (who was at the helm for previous single Electric, and 2019 album, Wey Ya Call Dat Ting, amongst others), Fela Awoke (I Will Miss You) tells the story of the death of Nigerian music legend, Fela Kuti, Jamaican icon, Bob Marley, and John’s own Grandmother. Resonant with the Yoruba phrase, Madele (I will find my way home) throughout, John recalls a quest for a spiritual home while drawing from hope, history and Black resilience.
"This song means everything to me. It tells a deeply personal story and it's reaching for something more profound than I've ever tried to say in a song. My people are Yoruba from West Africa and, when I grew up in Trinidad, we still spoke some words after 150 plus years,” John says. “So, as a grown musician, I always felt connected to Fela Kuti. In a year where life has been so fragile, this is my response. The lyrics are genuine. The hook is light and catchy. It's uniquely me but feels universal."
Fela Awoke (I Wil Miss You) follows John’s October 2020 track Electric, a song featuring Michigan rapper/composer, Jordan Hamilton, celebrating chemistry, the spark that catches the eye and gets you in your feels. Watch the video here. It is the bridge between SAGA BOY and John’s 2019 album, Wey Ya Call Dat Ting, and Look To The Moon, a collab with Chemical Dreams, the side project of Martha Johnson and Mark Gane of Martha and the Muffins.
The theme of Black resilience weaves its way into SAGA BOY, where John’s musical influences come together to create a place of belonging while chronicling struggle, diversity of experiences, yearning, identity and the contrasts and juxtapositions within his life as a whole. After John wrapped the final touches of the memoir, he decided to write an album, which was written and co-produced with Mike Schlosser in August 2020 within six weeks. John Orpheus quips the Trinidadian saying, “Own Way” (ie. ‘he go his own way’) as a testament of blazing his own path, and being unapologetically himself at all times and all costs.
About John Orpheus
Born and raised in South-Central Trinidad, John Orpheus is a multi-cultural musical artist and published author. For the past year and a half, he wrote his memoir, SAGA BOY, published by Penguin Random House Canada on January 19, 2021. With the book launch, John decided to return to music and release a companion album also entitled SAGA BOY. Both the book and the album are built on the same themes: searching for home, family, love and a fly coat to wear when you get there. His single, Fela Awoke (I Will Miss You), is the beginning of this new phase and introduces you to his deeply personal story.
John Orpheus’ musical journey has taken him from the Caribbean bush to festivals across Canada and the US to touring with UK rock legend, Liam Gallagher. He combines hip-hop swagger, Afrobeat energy and dancehall charisma to create a sound built on big catchy hooks. John is known for his rabble-rousing live shows filled with audience participation, chanting and impromptu dance-offs that feel more like Caribana road parties than concerts. In September 2019, he released his album WEY YA CALL DAT TING, the culmination of a three-year, four mixtape projects that he used to develop and hone his unique sound. Produced and co-written by Mike Schlosser, the album and the standalone single, Electric, released in 2020 fulfilled his early promise with a noticeably more pop and upbeat vibe. “Our attitude is that, if we don’t see it, we create it!”
SAGA BOY TRACKLIST:
1. FYAH TING
3. MANGO TREE
6. U LOOK CUTE WHEN U SMILE
9. ME NAH WORRY BOUT DAT
10. FELA AWOKE (I WILL MISS YOU)