Album of the Week: 'Come Back To Me' by Peter One
Come Back to Me by Peter One is KAXE's Album of the Week for May 12-18, 2023.
At 67 years old, Ivory Coast singer Peter One is experiencing a second life in music.
His first round in the music industry was playing with his dorm mate, Jess Sah Bi, releasing Our Garden NeedsIts Flowers in 1985 to high acclaim. That album was the heartbeat of West Africa — the two played stadiums and witnessed their album being a soundtrack to Nelson Mandela’s release from prison.
One fled to the United States in 1995 due to political unrest in his home country and his musical career was put on hold for 30 years. He became a nurse, which he did for the last two decades.
Though he spent much of his life largely out of the public eye, One has a presence that makes the stage and attention this record is getting seem natural and fitting. He has gained high profile fans, with David Byrne checking out his set at a festival and opening up for Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit.
Rolling Stone quotes Isbell of Peter One’s star presence: “When you hear Peter One singing, it sounds like he’s singing from a place that is not commercialized. … He’s singing something he really means. He’s extremely comfortable; he’s in control of the room; he’s in control of the dynamics; and you feel like you’re seeing somebody who is a legendary singer.”
Come Back to Me is the kind of album that feels like you’re sitting on a covered porch while watching a nice, gentle rain. A very pleasurable, emotional and evoking listen that speaks of his experiences, love, unity and loss, tying in sounds of the traditional, Afro-pop, country and folk music.
I had the chance to hear Peter One at a conference last week, where he dove deep into this record. He talked about how “Birds Go Die Out of Sight (Don’t Go Home)” is a reflection on the turmoil embedded in Ivory Coast, also known as Cote D’Ivoire. A friend of his talked about wanting to go home, knowing it wasn’t safe for him to do so, but he still had the strong yearning for home.
Stay connected with us to hear a conversation with Peter next week!
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