British Afro-Futurist artist, Alxndr London, shares a musical composition that quietly begs you to revisit your musical memories. When asking myself ‘Why do I connect with certain songs?’ Often, my memories of experiences or eras are distinct. Specifically, ‘Talking Drum’ makes me think about what I’ve learned about African-American history, particularly about the songs our ancestors sang during slavery for survival and freedom. ‘Wade in the Water’, according to what’s out there is a song Harriet Tubman used for slaves to submerge into the water to hide their scent when “slave catching dogs” were on their trail.
Next, the song’s vocal tone and production nuances are memorable to Bilal’s and D’Angelo’s. If you’re not careful, the spiritual/gospel-like humming will reach into your chest and humble you. Accompanied by what sounds like early-tribal-like forms of Electronic Dance Music created by Black people, the song has depth. It is religious and soulful.
“The song is inspired by gospel songs. I would hum and sing along to the hymns and African Spirituals. Talking drum is my prayer. I pray that the waves will receive and guide the diaspora back home. I pray that it is not too late for change. I pray that these strange, foreign lands are a thing of yesterday. This song not only captures elements of classic soul music, I also have the liberty of exploring minimal electronica to create a prayer like chant, capturing the hallucinatory, euphoric, floating sensation of surrendering to the unknown, in this case water.”