New Jersey native, London-dwelling artist, Baba Ali is today sharing his new single, “Thought Leader”, which trails previous tracks playlisted by BBC 6 Music and KCRW and tipped by Clash, NME, The Line of Best Fit and Paste. The song comes with an accompanying video made in collaboration with visual artist Dan Tombs (www.2ms.studio), and took inspiration from the 1976 video work This Is a Television Receiverby British artist David Hall. Premiered via Lauren Laverne on 6 Music, this single, which welds fuzzy guitars with a propulsive electronic beat, arrives as another installment of the forthcoming debut album, Memory Device that comes produced by Al Doyle (Hot Chip, LCD Soundsystem) and is out via Memphis Industries on August 27, 2021.
Baba says of “Thought Leader”:”The demo started out really bare with this sampled Warsaw drum beat and an overdriven bass line I’d recorded while still in America. I sent it over to Nik in London at about 3 AM UK time and he sent loads of guitar takes back for me to work with like an hour later. It was quite clear the song had potential. When we finished off with Al, the song managed to not lose its more punk energy and influence, as Al was intent on not cleaning out any grit. An added bonus was having Al play live drums and bass on the recording, which let him get away from the desk and to get his hands dirty…”
Baba Ali: Thought Leader (Offical Video)
Though most debuts are the culmination of a lifetime of influences and experiences, few artists succeed in mapping their musical journey quite as vividly as Baba Ali has on “Memory Device”. Tracing his Nigerian heritage, an adolescence absorbing No Wave and the hip hop on NYC’s Hot 97, time immersed in the techno scene in Berlin, and the experimental punk spirit of his current base in London, “Memory Device” is an enthralling introduction to a musician who resolutely defies pigeonholing.
Written during lockdown, and recorded with Al Doyle (LCD Soundsystem, Hot Chip) in East London, “Memory Device” is both a dizzyingly inventive exploration of Baba’s complex musical DNA, and a thought-provoking treatise on the collective angst of modern existence; a dance record dealing in small ‘p’ politics that, spiritually, has been three decades in the making.
Baba Ali: Thought Leader Lyrics: