Arts

Ones to watch: London singer L.A. Salami

Andy Welch recommends his 'one to watch'. This week, L.A. Salami. Find out why you should be listening to Rob da Bank's protege

L.A. Salami is signed to Villagers' label Domino and Sunday Best, in a joint deal under which his debut album is soon to be released
Andy Welch

WHO: L.A. Salami

WHAT: London-born singer Lookman Adekunle Salami

WHY: The hottest sound of the summer

HOW: "Yes it's my real name," says L.A. Salami. "If I was going to choose a name, why would I choose that?" And he makes a fair point, adding that he had a tough time in school with that name. Kids can be so cruel. But he seems to have made it out the other side and there's definitely not a lot to make fun of where his music's concerned. He's now signed to a joint deal between Rob da Bank's Sunday Best and Domino, home of Arctic Monkeys, Wild Beasts and Villagers.

He's approaching 30, but only picked up the guitar for the first time when he was in his late teens and didn't own one until he was 21. Not that you'd know it from listening to the incredible playing on forthcoming debut Dancing With Bad Grammar.

He was fostered when he was two months old and says he grew up between his foster parents in Broadstairs in Kent, and his birth mother in south London's Peckham. His youth also involved a spell sleeping rough in Colchester, which was when he first picked up a guitar.

He doesn't dwell on his past so much in his lyrics, he's more interested in politics, name-checking Jeremy Corbyn in one of his tunes. Many of his musical references, however, are of yesteryear as he manages to fuse chain-gang blues, spoken-word and the more D.A.I.S.Y. Age end of hip-hop to make something that's, against all odds, his own.

WHERE: His debut album is available to pre-order now, and buy next month when it's released, but until then check out his Soundcloud page at soundcloud.com/l-a-salami, where there are four songs that give a great taste of Salami's music. His Facebook page can be found at www.facebook.com/LASalami, while you can even go to Sunday Best's website and buy yourself a T-shirt, sundaybest.officialstore.co.uk/Shop.

L.A Salami is playing live over the summer at various festivals and will be touring in the autumn.

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