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FAQ

What is your full name and what does it mean?
What are your musical inspirations? What is your favourite music?
How long have you been singing?
How many languages do you speak?
Who makes your stage clothes?
What is your favourite place to play?
What reggae did you first listen to?
Are you a Rastafarian? Do you believe in God?
What’s your favourite pop video?
Where is your least favourite place to play?
Why have you started a solo band?
What musicians would you most like to work with?

What is your full name and what does it mean?
My name is a Yoruba name – Yoruba being a tribe in the West African country of Nigeria. In Yoruba culture a child’s names are chosen by the mother of the child’s father. My Grandmother chose the following names for me:
Tokunbo which means ‘child born over seas’
Omolara which means ‘children are our strength’
The family surname is Adesigbin which means ‘the crown brings in the Igbin drum’.

What are your musical inspirations? What is your favourite music?
Most of my favourite music involves some sort of spiritual depth or is music that just makes me happy to be alive.
I have a very eclectic taste from obscure Caledonian Tribes like the Are’Are’ singing lullabies to Digital Hardcore Recordings; Abba to The Art Ensemble of Chicago; from Bach to Lamb.
I love singers and singing voices - I’d have to mention Burning Spear, Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, Van Morrison, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Lemar, Vaartina from Finland, Mystere des Voix Bulgare – I have a real thing about East and North European harmonies.
Favourite tunes which have accompanied me through my life thus far would have to include “Ain’t Nobody” by Rufus and Chaka Khan; “Vuli Ndlela” by Brenda Fassie; “Dark Was The Night Cold Was The Ground” by Blind Willie Johnson; “Sweet Roseanne” by The Bright Light Quartet; “Vihma” by Vaartina; “Like a Prayer” by Madonna; “Queen Majesty” by The Techniques and “Release the Chains” by Conscious Sounds. But really these are just what comes instantly to mind - this is one of those answers that you have to update as you discover new stuff you’ve never heard before but which blows your mind, one of the major joys in life!

How long have you been singing?
I sang a bit at school but only really got into it when a bloke asked me if I wanted to sing in a band on my way to the toilet in a Glossop pub of legend called ‘The Trap’. The band was ‘The Mambo’s’ and we had a right laugh – I wrote my first songs.
At University in my early 20’s two wonderful singing teachers helped me acknowledge the presence of and use my chest voice (all singing to this point had been falsetto!) and I’ve never looked back. My voice matures and brings new rewards all the time.

How many languages do you speak?
Only 2 properly! I speak English of course and fluent French. I understand quite a bit of and speak a little Spanish and Welsh. I can speak a very little bit of Italian, Polish, Finnish (a beautiful language – there’s a word for “lost property office” which is one of my favourite words it’s so beautiful), Dutch, and Czech.
I find it hard to learn languages I don’t like the sound of – I’m hopeless at German for example.
I can say “one love” in about 15 different languages!

Who makes your stage clothes?
In the early days I just used to wear clothes that I had that I felt comfortable in on stage. Then my Mum made me a couple of dresses with shorts underneath (I like the skirt&shorts/trousers combination so I can jump around without flashing anyone!). I subsequently got into making stuff for myself and the last few years there’s been a theme – 2002 shiny silver and blue; 2003 white with red gold and green stripes; 2004 shiny trousers with African print skirts and vest tops; 2005 the gold year!

What is your favourite place to play?
Poland with Glastonbury a very close runner up.

What reggae did you first listen to?
In my secondary school there were !500 kids and 6 of us were “black”.
The only reggae I heard was a Steel Pulse album my stepfather had and it was too slick for my taste. UB40’s album UB40 was beautiful and I recently bought it again on cd, then my sister got into Bob Marley and I liked what I heard.
I’d never heard of dub until I moved to London in 1990 and started working for Culture Promotions – meeting Cod Tench and Perch was the start of my real reggaeducation.

Are you a Rastafarian? Do you believe in God?
I don’t believe in a god but I do believe in spirituality in many forms – in nature, in fate, in coincidence, in emotional connections between people.
Organised religion has caused too many wars and deaths, too often it becomes another reason for people to hate or discriminate against each other, or a way for people to abuse power which is invested in them by religious organisations.
I don’t understand why, when they are clearly open to interpretation, people become obsessed with devising a set of rigid rules by which to live, from for example the bible or the Koran.
I’m not a Rasta but of all the organised religions I feel it is one of the most accepting/tolerant. I think that if I were to follow the path of any organised religion (not that I’m planning to), I’d be a Bhuddist.

What’s your favourite pop video?
Again this is one of those questions which changes with time – for now I’d have to mention Korn’s “Freak on a Leash”; Fat Boy Slim’s “Praise You” and Tenacious D's "Tribute".

Where is your least favourite place to play?
France.

Why have you started a solo band?
I love the vibe and the heavy weight sound of Zion Train and the way that my voice is messed around with in the delays etc, but it’s also nice to sing a song and play with live bass, drums and guitar, have harmony vocals and do something which incorporates more musical styles/influences such as drum and bass, jazz, soul and funk.

What musicians would you most like to work with?
System of a Down (although I saw their latest video and it was like a 'Spinal Tap' style joke-why is it when bands achieve mega sucess they often become like a parody of themselves?)), Linkin Park, Stevie Wonder, Lemar, Will Young, The Muffin Men.
One day I’d like to do something with my cousin Femi Kuti.
On my solo album I’m hoping to collaborate with Mad Professor, Ben Balafonic (Dreadzone), Lynval Golding of The Specials, Segs and Ruffy from The Ruts, Kapela Ze Wsi Warsawa (Warsaw Village Band) so they are all clearly people I’d like to work with!

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