Lime interview - Music
Saidah Baba Talibah
Semper - Azeez -Harris
Makes you wanna scream.
With its neighbour America producing musical stars like a production line people can forget about Canada but let’s not under estimate its influence. Remember, Drake, one of the biggest hip-hop stars to date, calls Canada home.
Another child of Canada aiming to make a name is one Saidah Talibah who exudes raw “raunchy soul” like her life depends on it. Her “growling” and “legs spread” vibe is truly intoxicating and her first release Scream puts a sexier spin on the term “bedroom music” I think it would be more “whips and sweat music”.
Firstly I wanted to ask you about your rather cool name. What does it mean?
Yes it is my original name. Saidah (Sa-EE-dah) means happy and fortunate, Baba means born on Thursday and Talibah (Ta-LEE-bah) means seeker after knowledge.
Explain your musical birth.
I was born into music. My mother was a singer/songwriter herself, or as she would say, she was an entertainer. I spent many, many years watching her very attentively, she was wonderful! Whether I was in the audience or onstage with her, she created magic.
So your mother was obviously a huge influence but who else inspired you musically?
My uncle (Andy Bey), aunt (Geraldine de Haas) - who were part of a group called Andy and the Bey Sisters -- and then there my sister and my cousins. Lots of inspiration all of them are very close to home. But I was also inspired by Betty Davis, Chaka Khan, Living Colour, The Dead Weather, The Beatles, Nikka Costa, Nina Simone, and the list is constantly growing and evolving, just as I am.
What was school life like for you in terms of your trajectory into music?
Well, I went to a school for the arts (Claude Watson), and ironically, I didn’t do too much singing in school, I majored in dance and my minors were visual arts, playing the tuba, and photography. I did most of my singing outside of school with my mother.
How would you describe your music I hear rock and loads of raw sexuality?
I like to classify it as raunchy Soul. It’s like George Clinton, Jack White and Erykah Badu had a threesome and created a love child. There are elements of rock, funk, blues and soul and I’m a big flirt, so I get to push those boundaries in my music and show.
What was the inspiration behind the current track Scream?
Well, Donna Grant is my guitarist and co-writer. We were first inspired by the vibe of Betty Davis and Donna started singing ’When you touch my body baby...’ -- I just ran with it and it became a musical shout from the mountaintop to the one you love, telling them that everything they do makes you want to scream or cream (if you choose to be a little cheekier).
I love cream, you must try Devon’s clotted cream it is amazing but anyway, what can we expect from you?
Oooo well, you can expect a lot of legs spread, head banging, growling, and loads of smiles. I love being on-stage, it brings me so much joy.
Anything I should have asked you that I did not?
Hmmm, well, I don’t know, all depends on what you want to know and what I want you to know… You could have asked where I’m playing in London… and that answer would be: 5 December at Rich Mix (Bethnal Green), 6 December at The Windmill (Brixton) and 9 December at Cherry Jam (Westbourne Grove).
Clement Marfo and the Frontline