Fresh from yet another high profile guest slot (this time with Young Fathers), Simi Crowns launches his monthly A Tribe of Nomads gathering this Friday in the Vintage Room at the Workman’s Club. An intimate, invite only event – get your name on the guest list by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org – it’ll be more than just a regular gig, taking in guests from the music world and beyond, creating an environment for likeminded individuals to get together.
We asked Simi to compile five of his favourite tracks for us, complete with some thoughts on each…
Drake – ‘Know Yourself’
I’m just getting into Drake properly. This track here, although he probably lives a different lifestyle to me, I can relate to fully. I’ve always felt like if you know yourself, you’ve just given yourself the explicit permission never to give a fuck about opinions or others’ assumptions. There’s a line in there that says ‘I’m turning into the nigga that thinks about money and women like 24/7 but that’s how that shit happen to go.’ It can’t get better than that, know yourself and your flaws, that’s how that shit happen to go; what Tom, Dick or Harry think shouldn’t be my concern.
Erykah Badu – ‘Certainly’
I think you’d agree when I say every song Erykah Badu is on is certainly the shit. This one deals with the concept of relationships, instead of the idea where true love or relationships being the acceptance of the other for who or what they are, we maybe sometimes try too hard to impose our ideal and expectations on the other. It’s something I’ve always given thought and I must admit, I get guilty of this now and then, I’m learning to accept more these days and just move on from a situation if it’s not ideal to me rather than waste energy to change nature. The instrumental adds some fun element to it too, you’ve a touch of light jazz and this wobbly disgusting bassline that makes you wanna…emm let me say no more, working off some memories here! “You tried to get a little tricky, turned my back and then you slipped me a mickey”… need I say more? Dogs, men, as they say, aren’t we all?
J. Cole – ‘No Role Models’
Funny, when you realise similar implicit societal issues shared in completely different cities/neighbourhoods around the world. I’ve always been a big fan of J. Cole and this song depicts how I feel about growing up within my community in Dublin. I curse at times about how easier this might be if we had relevant role models growing up, you know. I know a lot of people would probably not want to talk about it, but as a kid growing up in a place where you’ve got no one to look up to, where almost everyone is competing so hard to the bottom for ‘nothing’, I nearly saw my spirit becoming desensitised from believing in possibilities and real growth. And then, the ones who make great positive strides aren’t celebrated because sensationalism of the ‘disgraced NIGERIAN’ that was convicted for selling drugs makes a better story, so we don’t get to know about them in order to reach out and learn from them. By the way, I use bold capital letters purposely because that’s how the media see best to describe and demonise the identity of some just to make money and edge their competitors in readership and market share. Strangely, I find myself holding no animosity, because a lot of times, it’s that same feeling that tells me, fuck what they’ve told you about who you are, keep believing in the possibilities that’s inside of you. You know, each person now has to play the role of the role model for themselves. Hopefully, when the time comes, the future seeds would be able to say, I want to be like Simi or whoever, sentiments, like if they can do it, I can do it too.
FKJ – ‘Waiting’
I heard this while I was in London in February. Such a laidback vibe with a sweet girl’s vocal on it. Reminds me of when Kamil, who’s like my brother, got his first car in the summer of a few years ago, a blue Polo that felt like a Lexus to us, and we would go for spins, purely for the laugh, you know, because we could. Now, we use the petrol costs for more productive things but the memories of just driving around in the rare but awesome sunny Dublin with a bunch of people who were satisfied in just enjoying being in the moment, nothing beats that.
Black Coffee – ‘Arise & Shine’
All Black Coffee’s mixes reminds me a lot of travelling, late warm summer nights in a foreign place where you don’t understand what the locals are saying but you can feel and understand the energy, care-free if you want to put it. You hear the cliche, music is a universal language, here you have this genius South African House DJ who has a nice way of making you feel like you’re somewhere in Africa and Paris both at the same time. Do you know what that feels like, especially with the sun coming out now? Feels like life.