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Baker's Dozen

Ceremonial Worship: Gonjasufi's Favourite Records
Elizabeth Aubrey , August 17th, 2016 08:23

Before the singer, DJ and producer releases his third album, Callus, this week, he talks to Elizabeth Aubrey about the 13 songs and albums that have had the biggest impact on his life, emotionally and spiritually


Nina Simone – 'Sinnerman' and Sam Cooke – 'A Change Is Gonna Come'
I used to spin radio at college and I found 'Sinnerman'. I remember spinning it – I think it was a live version – and the rhythm just seemed off a little bit. I had to think, is that beat on or off, it was so unusual. It was also so honest. I remember the first time I heard it and it stayed with me forever – one of those that definitely made me cry.

She wasn't as much of an influence on me as Miles Davis was, but just the depth of her voice and how this song encompasses so much: black and white and class and race. She was trying to break this slave mentality that had been parked on us and for her to be such a strong black woman at that time, battling society and those demons – I could relate to that as I could to A Change Is Gonna Come'.

That one always reminds me of the scene from the 1992 Malcolm X movie when he's driving and he just knows… that scene is so fucking powerful for that song. I was listening to the Otis Redding version and it's just as powerful. It reminds me of the pain of humanity – like when are we going to get past all this fucking hate and embrace each other? It's as relevant now as it was then. I made a vow of trying to stay out of all that [political] shit, because I feel like the music is more powerful. But there's just no way I can now – I feel I have a responsibility to pick up on that shit through the art, I just find a way to say it through the music.