JOHN ORPHEUS PROCLAIMS WE NAH WORRY BOUT DAT AHEAD OF NEW ALBUM SAGA KING
OUT TOMORROW VIA THE CONFIDENCE EMPERORS
PROJECT CONTINUES THE STORY OF SAGA BOY
MEMOIR OUT NOW ON PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE
PERFORMING AT MIXTO FESTIVAL IN TORONTO AUGUST 21
“In Saga Boy, the book, Antonio Michael Downing breaks open his mind and heart to examine that story, and on Saga King the album, John Orpheus celebrates the place where the journey brought him.” – Canadian Musician
“John Orpheus turns cliché terms like 'world music,' 'eclectic collage' and 'autobiographical' on their heads with his confident writing and delivery. This driven creative push is what carries this ambitious project and completes the book and album's one-two knockout.” – Exclaim!
“Saga King is a potpourri of sounds, embracing everything from
soca to Afrobeat to rock and rap.” – SOCAN Words and Music
Toronto, ON – July 29, 2021 – Toronto artist, author, troubadour and Renaissance man, John Orpheus, is evolving, and does so on the seat of a unique throne. Today, he shares the latest single, We Nah Worry Bout Dat, from his new and anticipated album, Saga King, out tomorrow (Friday, July 30 via The Confidence Emperors). A final sample ahead of the full-length release, We Nah Worry Bout Dat arrives with a lyric video of candid images capturing John in his element; embracing identity and a sense of home on a foundation cultivated by music, community, heritage and celebration.
Watch We Nah Worry Bout Dat and pre-save Saga King here ahead of its launch tomorrow.
Saga King is a mirror to John’s highly acclaimed memoir, Saga Boy (Penguin Random House Canada), continuing the story of his life in sonic catharsis through enriching, raw, joy infused songs.
“Prior to working with Producer Mike Schlosser I never made music from the Caribbean which is my heritage. I felt disconnected from soca and dancehall and from being Trinidadian. The process of making the mixtapes Bacchannal, Black Star Rising and Goatlife was me reclaiming my Afro-diaspora identity as a musical artist. Our Haus Orpheus events pictured in the video brought a new community of people from all over the African Diaspora who were all doing this same thing: nourishing their roots through music. It made me feel seen, heard, recognized, at home,” John says of We Nah Worry Bout Dat and the album.
“The video tells this story using pictures from these events which not only changed the focus of my music but my relationship with the world and with myself. The people featured in the video are like family. Many of them still work with me to this day. We Nah Worry Bout Dat means when you're being yourself with your tribe you can free up yourself and leave regular worries behind. For Black people, Caribbean people this sense of place and freedom is hard won and always feels like healing and celebration!”
Photos were taken by Kieran Meyn, R.Kelly Clipperton, Gada Jane and Ema Suvajac at various Haus Orpheus events – an inclusive, Toronto-based community-driven series John co-founded with bandmate Sarah Jane Riegler. Pre-pandemic, these events included an array of dance parties, DJ sets, live performances, artisan markets, exhibitions and open mic nights. Local fans will be able to engage in elements of this unparalleled energy as John returns to the stage for Mixto Festival on Saturday, August 21 in Toronto. Find details and purchase tickets here.
Previous single, IG, highlights a celebration of self as a testament to being “radically you” – an unapologetic, standout theme within the album and memoir - was produced and composed by Mike Schlosser aka gawddamnitmichael, who is at the helm for the tracks on Saga King.
IG is paired with a fun video (watch here), directed by Patrick Hodgson (behind John’s visuals since 2018 track, Parachute, notably for recent pieces Fela Awoke (I Will Miss You) and ELECTRIC, and filmed in John’s hometown of Kitchener-Waterloo, at the new location of the legendary Mel's Diner. The cast includes Chlz and Micha, with Fabiola Dieuve at the helm for choreographing the group dance, props, wardrobe, and hyping the cast during takes. IG followed John’s previous single, Fela Awoke (I Will Miss You), which included its stunning companion video.
After John finished the memoir, he felt inspired to create an album, which was written and co-produced with Mike Schlosser in Autumn 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. Black resilience weaves its way into Saga King, where John’s musical influences come together around themes of belonging, identity, resilience, and the celebration of sovereignty only self-awareness can bring.
Saga Boy, the memoir, will be released by Milkweed Editions in the US on September 14, 2021. Learn more about John Orpheus and connect with him below.
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 had been writing his memoir called SAGA BOY which was published by Penguin Random House Canada on January 19, 2021 and will be launched by Milkweed Editions in the US on September 14, 2021. With the book done, John decided to return to music and release a companion album entitled SAGA KING. Both the book and the album are based on similar themes: searching for home, family, love and a fly coat to wear when you get there! SAGA BOY is the journey of the boy. SAGA KING is the celebration of the man. His recently released single FELA AWOKE (I WILL MISS YOU) was the beginning of this new phase and introduced you to his deeply personal story. Second single IG, is about “celebrating yourself and giving yourself all the love you deserve without asking permission."
John Orpheus’ musical journey has taken him from the Caribbean bush to festivals across Canada and the US to opening for Liam Gallagher on a UK tour as the frontman for a Happy Mondays offshoot band. 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 debut album WEY YA CALL DAT TING, the culmination of a three year, four mixtape project 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. “The world is a soulful, sound-splash, dance party. That's the sound I want to create."