“I’m a bluesman moving through a blues-soaked America, a blues-soaked world, a planet where catastrophe and celebration — joy and pain sit side by side.” – Cornel West, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud, A Memoir
I usually do not single out one artist specifically when writing about the artist that Sweet Soul Records has signed to distribute their music in Japan because all the artist that we partner with are special in many different ways, and they all have something in common… good music. But today I will talk specifically about one artist because of the story behind the release, or how it all came to be.
I would like to take the opportunity to introduce Gabriel Tajeu, a singer-songwriter based in Birmingham, Alabama. Gabriel’s album “Finding My Way” will be released Japan-wide on July 14, 2013 and we’re expecting his music to be well received.
Weight of the World by Gabriel Tajeu (lyrics)
I first made contact with Gabriel back in September 2011 after hearing a couple of his tracks on Reverbnation. At that time, he only had a couple of songs up there but those couple of songs told me one thing, this young man is spectacular and I wanted to bring his music to Japan.
Since 2011 we’d kept in contact through Facebook, talking music and his studies. He’s been splitting his time between university, making music, and gigging around Birmingham, so it took a good amount of time for him to finally record the album. Since first contact, either I would bother him for updates, or he’d contact me and hand over updates voluntarily. I never had a doubt that he’d finish the album nor did I doubt that it would be something very special.
The agreement has been reached, the release date is set, and the Japan version of his jacket is designed. It’s been a long wait, but finally we are both able to see how his patience and determination has paid off.
Thing about “Finding My Way,” it doesn’t fit squarely in the type of music Sweet Soul usually releases but we felt mighty comfortable about Gabriel and his music, and knew the album was a good choice when venturing out into a new area. Gabriel classifies his music as “R&B, Folk, Rock,” and I agree. I’m sure most listeners will associate his music with the West coast, but for me I like to see it as Southern Folk and Rock.
“Self-Righteous,” “Darling Please,” “I’ll Take What She Gives,” and “Weight of the World” are a few of my favorites with riveting, heartfelt lyrics. You should have a listen for yourself.
I’m extremely proud of Gabriel for staying at it, and the team here at Sweet Soul who made this release possible. You can only expect big things from him and from the Sweet Soul team in the future.