The Music Is The Feeling

by Femi Temowo

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Igbagbo ti mo ni o le daru e mo (The faith I have, you can never understand) Ohun ti o nti mi lehin, awamaridi ni (My motivation is unknowable to you) Ji, la oju re kole ri otito (Wake up and see my truth) Je ka jo sowopo k’ajo gbe l’alafa (Let’s at least try to be at peace) Ija to mbe larin wa o je ka d’ore mo (This fight between us keeps us from recognising friends) Arun ti o gbemi lo, ohun l’ota gidi (Our real enemy is the disease that takes our lives) Ji la eti re kole gbo otito (Wake up and hear my truth) Je ka jo sowopo k’ajo gbe l’ala a (Let’s at least try to be at peace) Kiyesi ara ko duro dada, ninu isowopo nikan la le bori (Watch yourself and stand strong, only together can we overcome) Laisi ife asan lohun gbogbo, laisi ife bawo l’ase fe se (Without love all else is vanity, without love how do we exist) Ife isowopo nikan lo le je k’abori (In love together, this is how we overcome)
Aye si nsoro ogun, ebi si npa talika (While the world wages war, the poor remain hungry) Ko si ba se le ro, eje o ki se omi mimu (Whichever way we look at it, blood cannot replace water) Ibon po ju onje lo, ohun oju ri enu o le so (Guns abound more than food, what our eyes have seen our mouths cannot utter) Ara mba ebi ja, eje o ki se omi mimu (A people fighting itself, blood cannot replace water) Bi oye nla lowuro, ilosiwaju yio ba wa (As dew settles in the morning, progress will catch up with us) Ibi ti a nlo la now, a o ki wo ibi isubu (We should always focus on our destiny, not the mistakes of our past)
Ati Jeun ati mu ati soro sugbon awa o ni gbagbe (We’ve eaten, drank and talked together, but we won’t forget) Ajo jo ajo sere ajo korin sugbon awa o ni gbagbe (We danced together, played and sang together but we won’t forget) Ati wo, ati to, ati ka sugbon awa o ni gbagbe (We examined, measured and solved it together but we won’t forget) Ekilo fun awon to se de wipe awa o ni gbagbe (Warn all those who have just arrived that we will not forget)
Eye Iwo tio korin l’ale, fi iye to ge yi ko fi fo (Blackbird singing in the dead of night, take these broken wings and learn to fly) Ninu aye re, asiko tio o duro de ohun na lo ma de (All your life, you were only waiting for this moment to arise) Eye iwo tio korin ale, fi oju to jin, kofi riran (Blackbird singing in the dead of night, take these sunken eyes and learn to see) Ninu aye re, asiko ti de ki a so e d’ominira (All your life, you were only waiting for this moment to be free) Eye Iwo ma fo lo ma fo lo (Blackbird fly)
Mo ba baba kan pade, eni olola, oniyi (I met an old man one day, a man of wealth and great standing) Lila ohun re dabi, omi tutu ninu oru (Every word he spoke was like cool water in sti ing heat) Oro kan soso yi l’owi (This one thing he said to me) Oto yi o le ye, bo fe bo ko (This truth can never bend, whether you wish it or not) Igba kan lo, igba kan bo (Time comes and time goes) Ko ma s’eda to le lo ile aye yi gbo (No one person can ever use it all) Temi na ba ni ore ofe, ma d’olola oniyi (If I find myself with the grace, I’ll become wealthy and of great standing) Lila ohun mi o dabi, omi tutu ninu oru (Every word I speak will be like cool water in stifling heat) Oto yi o le ye, bo fe bo ko (This truth can never bend, whether you wish it or not)
Oro agba tio se lowuro (The elders’ warning that did not make sense in the morning) Yio si se lojo ale o (Will likely make sense at night)
Bola 05:25


“A beautiful, delightful, mix-up!” Gilles Peterson (BBC Radio 6 Music)

Multi-award winning composer, guitarist and singer Femi Temowo presents The Music Is The Feeling – his third and most ambitious album to date featuring The Engines Orchestra, Michael Olatuja, Troy Miller, Karl Rasheed-Abel, Thomas Dyani and Ernesto Simpson.

Sitting somewhere between West-African folk and jazz, TMITF channels the sounds of Temowo’s childhood growing up as a boy in Nigeria listening to pioneers such as Fela Kuti, Sunny Ade and Ebenezer Obey. A love of groove and lyricism sits at the core of the sound and is driven by two separate trios:

“It’s a full family album. I’m blessed to be working with Ernesto Simpson, an amazing Cuban drummer who’s played with everyone from Herbie Hancock to Gonzalo Rubalcaba. He’s paired with Karl Rasheed-Abel, a bassist who I love and have worked with in Soweto Kinch’s band over the years. Then there’s Troy Miller, another groove monster and long-time collaborator who has also co- produced the record. He’s alongside my cousin, bassist Michael Olatuja – someone I feel I share a mind with and can second-guess my every move. Thomas Dyani also joins us on percussion throughout and Oli Rockberger guests with us on piano...”

Nine out of the eleven tracks also feature the Engines Orchestra, run by saxophonist Phil Meadows, who Temowo met shortly after their formation.

“I’d never met an orchestra before that played non-classical material to such a deeper extent. Phil’s enthusiasm just caught me and I knew from listening to the first 30 seconds of their debut album that I needed to work with them.”


released June 5, 2015

Produced by Femi Temowo Co-produced by Troy Miller

Executive Producers
Rolake Akinkugbe
Sandra Henchoz De Rubertis
Victor Lawrence

Femi Temowo - Guitar, Vocals, Arrangements
Troy Miller - Drums on tracks: 2,3,4,7,8,10
Michael Olatuja - Double Bass, Electric Bass on tracks: 2,3,4,6,7,8,10 Ernesto Simpson - Drums on tracks: 1,5,9,11
Karl Rasheed-Abel - Double Bass on tracks: 1,5,9,11
Thomas Dyani - Percussion on tracks: 1,4,5,8,11

Sean Douglas - Recording and Mixing Engineer
Peter Beckmann - Mastering Engineer
Jan Vrhovnik - Photoghraphy
Sabina Vrhovnik Špiler - Artwork and Design
Recorded at The Fish Factory Studios and Rak Studios London

Engines Orchestra:

Violins: Minn Majoe (Principal), Scott Lowry, David Lopez, Connie Chatwin, Claire Sledd (Principal Second), Judith Choi Castro, Alice Zawadzki, Fra Rustumji.
Violas: Matt Maguire (Principal), George White, Rosamund Hawkins
Cellos: Zosia Jagodzinska (Principal), Miriam Wakeling
Saxophones/Woodwinds: Phil Meadows, Rob Cope
Trumpets: Barney Lowe, Miguel Gorodi
Trombones Olli Martin Raphael Clarkson


I thank almighty God for the vision and inspiration to create. To my musical brothers, Troy, Michael, Ernesto and Karl, you gave of yourselves without question and for that I am eternally grateful. My families, Temowo, Pike and Ahmed, thank you for your unwavering support. Thank you Oli Rockberger for playing so beautifully on a song that you inspired. Phil Meadows and the Engines Orchestra, your work ethic and enthusiasm for the music has and will set you apart positively, you did great work on this record and I am grateful. Thank you to Sean Douglas, Peter Beckmann, Iyisha Rocke, Rolake Akinkugbe, Jan Vrhovnik, Sabina Vrhovnik Špiler, Feranmi Oguns, Joseph Oyelade, Sandra Henchoz De Rubertis, and Victor Lawrence. I cannot forget the 401 beautiful people who helped make this happen by buying into the album when it was just a fledgling idea. All my Pledge Music supporters, I salute you.


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Femi Temowo London, UK

Nigerian-born British guitarist, singer, musical director and producer described by Time Out as "one of Europe's finest and most sought after guitarists."

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