Twenty-one year old Uwade’s voice opened Fleet Foxes’ critically acclaimed 2020 album Shore, and the musician quickly earned critical acclaim and gained a following for stunning covers she shared across her socials. Following the release of her debut single “Nostalgia” last year, the Nigerian-born and North Carolina-raised artist now releases a digital 7-inch. “The Man Who Sees Tomorrow” is Uwade’s second-ever original song, and an ode to her father, who passed in August 2020. Following his passing, Uwade found herself diving deeper into her Nigerian heritage. As a result, the single’s B-Side is a cover of Edo singer Sir Victor Uwaifo’s “Lodarore,” a song that Uwade’s father loved and would sing to her on her way to school. Both of these new songs are dedicated to him.
Uwade on the new singles:
“When I lost my father in August of 2020 I was devastated. Grief was like lead in my blood. It made everything grey and dull and meaningless. It made life feel too long. But I knew that my sorrow was a result of my great love for my dad, and I am grateful for that love. It is what has kept him alive in my heart. My dad is a part of me in a very real way and The Man Who Sees Tomorrow is my ode to him; my promise to continue to cherish him, even in death. When I was younger, my dad would sing songs to me in the car while he drove me to school. Lodarore was one of them. After he passed and I found myself cataloguing memories of him for safekeeping I stumbled upon the song on Spotify. I listened to Sir Victor Uwaifo sing it over and over again, giving my childhood memories new life. It was one of my father’s favorite songs, and it speaks to the utmost importance—now more than ever—of relationships. We cannot survive without the help and support of those around us. We make each other who we are. These songs are dedicated to Dr. James I. Akhere, who made me who I am.”
Though her career in music is now taking off, for Uwade singing has always been a kind of prayer. This stems, in part, from her spiritual upbringing — steeped in the sounds of hymnal choral music and Nigerian Highlife on her dad’s car radio — and her rigorous education. A scholar of the highest order, Uwade has studied Classics at Columbia and Oxford, and cites Catullus and Virgil among her influences (along with Julian Casablancas and Nina Simone). Knowing this, it’s easy to want to plumb the academic depths of her sound. To describe her voice as a divine signal you’d read about in classic texts, at once ancient and altogether new.
Photo Credit: Credit: Shervin Lainez