J.P. Bimeni & the Black Belts: Give Me Hope

J.P. Bimeni & the Black Belts: Give Me Hope
Title: Give Me Hope
Label: Lovemonk
Product Type: VINYL LP

Burundian-born soul singer JP Bimeni doesn't see the world through rose colored glasses, but he exudes optimism in his sophomore album, Give Me Hope. A royal refugee who escaped death more than once and found his sonic calling in the UK, Bimeni's latest channels prime Otis Redding while meditating on ambition, community and love. Give Me Hope grooves between classic '60s Motown and Stax-inspired soul, psychedelia and Afro-funk. Inspired by leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. And James Stern (the namesake of an empoweringly funky track) and propelled by the wisdom of prolific creators like Lee Scratch Perry, Bimeni's deep consciousness and vulnerability is on full display without losing pop sensibility. 'I've been trying to see in terms of the journey I'm on as an expressive artist: what I've overcome, what's ahead and where I am now. It feels like I have a lot of cleansing to do,' Bimeni says. 'It's an emotional process. Your individual status can change, but you still can identify a lot of your stages and understand how you deal with that internally.' A descendant of the Burundian royal family whose parents held opposing political views, Bimeni escaped his country aged 15 during the 1993 civil war and genocide. Following multiple attempts on his life, including being poisoned by doctors in hospital, he was given refugee status and fled to Wales. Soon after Bimeni's arrival at Trinity College in Wales - a school for children who have escaped conflict, where he received a United Nations organised scholarship - Bimeni was taken record shopping for his birthday. He immediately gravitated toward the music of Ray Charles, Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye and his idol, Otis Redding. 'Music is my great escape. My first album, Free Me, was me finally doing what I wanted to do and feeling like music is my freedom,' he says, adding that his frame of mind evolved while recording Give Me Hope. 'You realize that you have a platform that is much larger than you expected, so you have to question yourself: What am I trying to express? Who am I?' JP Bimeni showcases himself as resilient and conscientious, conjuring a deep spirituality and pain to demand hope. After experiencing unimaginable tumult as a young man, Bimeni's belief that love is our collective future remains steadfast. Where his critically acclaimed debut was a joyous, super funky celebration of achievement - Give Me Hope is a deeper contemplation on the need for unity and a sense of global community. Much like Otis Redding, Bimeni is a master of both the forlorn and ecstatic. Give Me Hope opens with a cover of Eddie Holman's 1969 string-laced midtempo burner 'Four Walls,' in which Bimeni aches with regret of losing a love he once took for granted. On 'Not In My Name,' a unique pop-soul message song, Bimeni encourages a reciprocity of our communal existence. He uses the album's ballads as metaphors for loving thy neighbor, folding hints of gospel and Sam Cooke sweetness into songs such as 'Find That Love' and 'When Everything Is Wrong'.

J.P. Bimeni & the Black Belts: Give Me Hope

Regular price Sale price $29.90 $33.98
Product-type:VINYL LP
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