Lamii is poised to become a household name on the global Afrobeat scene. Born Faruq Salami, Lamii grew up in Ede, Osun State, Nigeria. At the age of 17, Lamii moved to the US. For many Africans in the diaspora, it is difficult to reconcile conservative and communalist African roots with the expressiveness and individuality of Western culture. But rather than drop his African traits, Lamii built North America around his South-West Nigerian core; something that is immediately evident upon listening to his catalogue.
The music almost didn’t happen—Faruq Salami did not plan on becoming Lamii. It was in befriending artists and producers while studying at the Pennsylvania State University that he discovered his musical inclinations. What has followed is a prolificacy that is reminiscent of one resonating with deep—divine even—purpose. In other words, the boy is good.
After an overwhelmingly positive response to his first single, “Wonder”, in 2017, Lamii has dropped three projects in three years, collaborating with artists such as Buju, Toyin Ores, Shalom Dubas, and Hollywood actor, Aubrey Omari. The audacity that saw Lamii mix seemingly conflicting cultures is also evident in his musical decisions. “Ja!”, a song on his 2019 EP, Signs and Wonders”, caters for a sweltering hot afternoon eating Amala and Ewedu in a Buka near Lagos Island.
Just three songs down, “Feeling” will sit comfortably on your cosmopolitan Lagosian’s “Alté” playlist. The affordance for this audacity lies in a musical presence that belies his musical age. He has an uncanny intuition for matching melodies and cadences to instrumentals, which he combines with a masterful control of vocal tone. A typical Lamii song will see him effortlessly trade English and Yoruba riffs, covering even serious topics with the playfulness of someone aware of but unruffled by the expectations associated with prodigious talent.
Lamii drops his first solo single on the 10th of September. Keep up with him on IG and Twitter: @lamiiwonder
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