Afrocentric Theatre, Music, Culture and Business

Acantha Lang, Queen of London soul (Interview) Acantha Lang, Queen of London soul (Interview)
Acantha Lang, Queen of London soul (Interview)

New Orleans has always been a hot bed of musical talents. Originating the likes of Louis Amstrong, Fats Domino and Lil Wayne to name but a few. Its latest product is the delectable and awesomely talent Acantha Lang. Ebonyonline.net caught up with the very lady in-between studio sessions to talk Superman, Hurrican Katrina, Jamaica and Nina Simone.

EOL: What can fans expect from your forthcoming eagerly awaited Soho Express gig?
AL: Fans can expect my full nine piece band playing my usual mix of funky/bluesy soul including several (recently written) new additions which I’m very excited to perform for the first time.

EOL: Tell us about ‘Lois Lang’, one of the tracks you’ll be singing?
I wrote a song called Lois Lang which is my mother’s name and the song in part tells her story. A lot happened in her life including living through segregation and the Jim Crow era, losing her homes in three hurricanes including Hurricane Katrina that wiped out New Orleans in 2005.

The song begins with the lyric ‘Her name is Lois Lang but she ain’t have no Superman’ making reference to the similarity between her name and Superman’s girlfriend ‘Lois Lane’. As a single mother she definitely didn’t have a Superman in her life.

EOL: He Said, She Said is about the social media age isn’t it?
AL: The song He Said She Said was written because we live in a time of misinformation where people are getting their news from Facebook and other unchecked sources. Even politicians are talking about fake news.etc. So it seems to be getting harder and harder to know who we can believe.

EOL: How did the Blues inspire you to forge a musical career?
AL: Firstly my hometown New Orleans is steeped in Blues music so I feel like it’s in my bones. Secondly, Blues music is honest, it’s about conveying emotion and never about showing off. It’s all about telling the story and how deep you can dig down in your feelings to do that. I fell in love with that.

EOL: Apart from London and New York, where else has your amazing voice taken you?
AL: I love to travel so I’m always super happy when I’m asked to perform in a new interesting country. I’ve been fortunate enough to play in several countries in Africa (Abidjan/Senegal/Cape Verde), Caribbean (Jamaica/Martinique/Guadeloupe), Asia (Hong Kong/Bali/Shanghai/Singapore), Europe (Biarritz, France/Bulgaria/Monaco/Spain/Russia) and Ireland.

EOL: Ride this train is about dreams. What are some of yours?
AL: First and foremost, my dream is to be happy which I try to work on every day. My happiness relies heavily on me being creative. My ultimate dream would be to have a long career in music where I continue to write songs and perform for as long as possible.

EOL: In what ways does London’s music creativity differ from that of USA?
AL: In London, there seems to be more of a music scene with a network of musicians and venues that allow artists to grow organically. New York has this also but London’s scene has more of a community vibe.

EOL: Name of couple of your ‘go-to’ classic songs, that you can enjoy anytime?
AL: It’s hard for me to pick just a couple of songs but I do seem to find myself relaxing often listening to Nina Simone and Gregory Porter.

EOL: Finally in a sentence, tell us why our readers shouldn’t miss seeing Acantha Lang live?
AL: I have an amazing band and we put on a great show. Also, I bring a lil’ piece of N’awlins (New Orleans) to London. Why would you want to miss that?! 🙂

Acantha Lang, 28 February 2019, Pizza Express Soho, £15, 8.30pm visit https://www.pizzaexpresslive.com/whats-on/acantha-lang for more info

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