Essentially, the history of British soul music is a long story about the search for identity. With his third album „Just Being Me“, Ghana born singer, songwriter, producer, designer, musician and cinematographer Myles Sanko adds an essential chapter to this eventful journey. Featuring eleven new compositions, „Just Being Me“ explores the inner self and transcends stylistic borders. With its rich instrumentation and colourful arrangement it speaks out as loud as a proper soul album should.
„For me, music is the key to communication between people. When I write, play and sing music, I do not plan it to be labelled ‘soul’ or ‘jazz’ – it just comes naturally as it is,“ Myles Sanko explains. With his true, emotional and straightforward style, he is able to connect past, present and future. “Of course I am inspired by the classic sounds of the Sixties and Seventies coming out of Detroit, Memphis or Philadelphia. But I grew up in the middle of the English countryside. We had no ghetto or deal with social unrest in the streets. Nevertheless, when you grow up coming from a mixed racial background into a conservative society, you need to develop a strategy of survival.” One key element of this strategy was to take business in his very own hands. Myles Sanko recorded his debut mini album „Born In Black & White“ in 2013. Without any distribution or marketing it sold so well that Myles instantly knew he was on to something good. “My fans crowd funded the recording of my second album ‘Forever Dreaming’. That was amazing, even Gregory Porter invited me to join him as support. The band I toured with became my family.”
With „Just Being Me“ Myles Sanko is coming home now. „This album is about love, hope and politics, and has a piece of me in every part,“ read the liner notes and you can’t deny the truth in these words. Starting with „Freedom“, a Donny Hathaway style instrumental prologue, the album flows seamlessly into the title track. “Promises” is what soul is about: Don’t believe the hype, have a look what’s behind empty promises. “This Ain’t Living” is accompanied by some of the most delicate orchestral soul-jazz this side of Matthew Halsall or Cinematic Orchestra. “The Sunshine” is where it’s at, a quiet celebration of the love for the sun. „Land Of Paradise“ carries a message of hope and confidence in the lyrics, led by a hypnotizing brass section, think Gil Scott-Heron or the Last Poets walking through the streets of Manchester or London: „I Belong To You“ looks back on classic, era-spanning soul ballad artistry, think Bill Withers teaming up with Maxwell and you are quite near. „Forget Me Not“ stays firmly in up-to-date R&B idioms. „Missing You“ brings down „Just Being Me“ in an Bobby Womack style, acoustic soul, while „Empty Road“ is an emotive ending to a wonderful story.
“Just Being Me’ is a departure from what I did before and a beginning of a new journey. It is about myself as a human being, as it is about sharing between each other,” concludes Myles Sanko. “What is it that you can do as a songwriter or musician? You have the ultimate tool that you can share with others, as recorded music or on the stage. As an artist you can make the most of this rare gift ”
“Just Being Mr” is released on LP, limited edition CD and digital download on Légère Recordings.