This November saw the release of 3 song EP of new music from ÌFÉ. The Living Dead | Ashé Bogbo Egun dropped on 12″ Vinyl and All Digital Platforms via Discos Discos on November 17th. The EP is a collection of songs for the spirits of the ancestors and the deceased in 3 movements.
Of the music ÌFÉ producer Otura Mun says, “One of the things that has helped me confront the difficulty in dealing with the sadness and pain associated with the deaths of those around us is my belief that death in the physical world is not the end. As part of my spiritual practice I commune with my ancestors on a daily basis, praying for their upliftment and light for their assent, while asking for their blessings and support in my everyday life. The idea being that we are all on the same wheel of life at different points. Each playing our role to support and honor the others. The Living Dead I Ashé Bogbo Egun is my interpretation of traditional ceremonial Lucumi (Yoruban Diaspora) prayer songs in honor of the dead. The music features ceremonial Bata drumming performed electronically in ÌFÉ’s signature style, each movement building in intensity. Ifá teaches us in the odu Yekun Meji that we should not fear death but embrace it as a natural part of life. As we approach the end of 2020 I felt that it was important to acknowledge and celebrate those who have passed before us. Ashé Bogbo Egun, ‘power to all deceased’.”
Like most folks, my world today is not at all what I thought it would be as I sat down to jot out my New Years resolutions for 2020 this past January. I certainly couldn’t have told you I would be locked in my house without human contact for 9 months (and counting) and I definitely wasn’t thinking about covering Bad Bunny, recording Fuck The Police, or putting out a live album this year or anytime soon. 2020 has shaken things to the ground and keeps on giving. Despite the tougher moments, this year in many ways has been a year of incredible growth and optimism for me personally. Often the simple things in my life are the most powerful. Health, family, safety, joy, discovery, the gift of love. I wasn’t able to tour this year, but I was blessed with the opportunity to develop my craft and to perform from my home for audiences around the world in a capacity that challenged me and inspired me to push beyond what I was capable of creating or delivering the year before. I’ve grown this year. This time of reaching, learning and experimentation has been a tremendous gift. Thank you to all that have supported ÌFÉ over the years and have tuned in over the Summer and Fall to see what ÌFÉ has been up to. My deepest thank you. We have 2 huge releases coming right around the corner. An EP of band new music will be dropping on vinyl and digital on November 17th and a full length LP of all new music early 2021. Stay tuned!!!! But for now…
2020 Live at ILÉ ÌFÉ is sort of mixtape bootleg compilation of classic and unreleased ÌFÉ songs performed live in quarantine at my home during the Summer and Fall of 2020 and mixed together “sound system style” by yours truly. The songs were recorded as a duet between myself and ÌFÉ’s newest voice, Lavoski. She had joined the group at the beginning of this year and was preparing to go on tour with us this Spring when the world hit the breaks on human contact. She’s been beyond supportive of me during these months and it has been an absolute joy to make music with her this year. She’s an incredible young singer and her talent has pushed me to places that I was unable to reach as a singer and performer in the past. Thank you Lavoski!!
The other folks on this record are you guys!! Thank you to everyone who DM’d in and left messages for ÌFÉ. In a room with only two performers you all have filled this recording with love. Thank you all.
Like many musicians, I don’t know when I’ll be able to perform with the rest of my band or when I’ll be back out on the road, but I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had this year to sing and play for you. That’s such a blessing. I hope you enjoy this collection of songs. They’re made with love. Ashé Orunmila, Ashé a la Ochá, Ashé bogbo Egun. Health and happiness to all – Awo Ni Orunmila Otura Mun
ÌFÉ performs Bad Bunny’s “Estamos Bien” in a Rumba style while in quarantine at their studio ILÉ ÌFÉ in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The video features ÌFÉ producer and front man Otura Mun and the project’s newest voice, Lavoski.
“Before the quarantine Lavoski and I had been putting together a straight ahead Rumba project to sort of keep our chops up. She came into one of the rehearsals singing this song and I loved the way it sounded in Rumba. One thing led to the next and before we knew it we were all in quarantine at home and our rumba sessions at the house became impossible for the health reasons everyone is aware of at this point. After resisting several offers to play in virtual form I got an offer that made sense for us to do as a duet. So as I was thinking about what Lavoski and I could do together I remembered the Bad Bunny tune and suggested we put it together for fun. I pre-recorded all the conga and percussion parts myself at home and Lavoski and our good friend Andrea Beltran laid the background vocals at her house, then we got together to perform her lead vocal and my lead drum together. It was the first time I’d been near another human being in 4 months. This song and video was the closing number of our performance at IBA’s virtual Tito Puente Concert Series 2020. I know it was written with Hurricane Maria in mind, but I think it still strikes a nerve in this moment, maybe it always will in Puerto Rico or any place that’s taken a beating. Gracias Benito para este temazo.”- Awo Ni Orunmila Otura Mun
The entire 30 min performance can be seen in 4K video here
Huge thanks to José Galván and the folks at KCRW for premiering our new song “VOODOO ECONOMICS (WolfMan)”. I’m a huge KCRW fan so this was an enormous honor. Check out their piece here! VOODOO ECONOMICS (WolfMan) is now available on all platforms and in our webstore. Aché bogbo Eggun!!!
“VOODOO ECONOMICS (WolfMan), the second single off of ÌFÉ’s forthcoming sophomore album moves as a modern day funeral song, written as a lament for Adolf Wolfgang Siemon-Otero, a beloved friend and musician gunned down in the streets of San Juan Puerto Rico, the target of a drug trafficking dispute. The song, built around sacred Afro Cuban Bata rhythms and prayers plays a powerful procession, honoring those that have fallen while stirring up a cache of questions, principally among them, why do we want so badly to be rich? And what does right and wrong ultimately mean in a society that judges us more on our outcomes than our methods?” – Otura Mun
NEW ÌFÉ SHIRTS! ÌFÉ, the Yoruba word for love and expansion! Each of these Navy Blue and White crewneck tees were silk screened by hand at the GTMM HQ by shopkeeper and ÌFÉ front man Otura Mun. The Yemayá Blue and White goes super hard with the washed out white giving each shirt a unique handmade vintage feel. Super soft and clean as a whistle. Spread love with this beautiful handmade piece. Inspired by the music and the message, ÌFÉ MEANS LOVE! BUY NOW