Free Me by J.P. Bimeni & The Black Belts - Tucxone [TXN008CDX] FLAC download included with physical items

Free Me

A 13 track soul album (48m 12s) — released September 29th 2023 on Tucxone

** Expanded edition with three extra tracks of the 2018 debut album by J.P. Bimeni & The Black Belts **

On his debut album "Free Me", Burundian-born J.P. Bimeni astonishes with a voice that recalls Otis Redding in his prime whilst resonating with the soul of Africa. A refugee who's been living in London since the early 2000s, Bimeni's songs of love and loss, hope and fear deliver with a conviction that comes from the extraordinary experiences life has thrown at him. On "Free Me", tough funk jams segue into deep southern soul and heartfelt ballads, with a unique vibe present throughout this modern funk-soul masterpiece thanks to Bimeni's uplifting style. Whether it's the conscious funk of 'Honesty', the defiant, empowering 'Fade Away' or the tearjerker 'I Miss You', with each twist and turn Bimeni displays an astonishing depth with his vocal range. The fact that Bimeni has lived a life most extraordinary and lived to tell the tale makes these songs even more resonant: "When I was on my deathbed, after I'd been shot, they brought a priest to read my last rites," he remembers. "I looked at the priest and I said 'I don't feel like I'm going to die. I feel like I'm going to live long, meet the world and I'm going to prove to myself that the world is not just hate or killings.'" For Bimeni, music is a way to survive: "You can't entertain the pain of your problems all the time – you have to put them away and let something else fill the space where it's just been pain, worry and terror."

This new edition includes three extra tracks only available on vinyl before: the driving instrumental 'Bangarang', a terrific version of the Spencer Davis Group hit 'Keep On Running', bursting with fiery organ, and a radio edit of album track 'I Miss You', an original composition imbued with Memphis and Muscle Shoals essence.

Very few people have a soul story to compare, and from all the trauma has emerged one of the very best soul voices I've heard for a very long time - Craig Charles BBC Radio 6 Music

I’m loving his voice... We'd love to have him on BBC Radio 2 - Cerys Matthews BBC Radio 2

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