…our sweet destiny, JOHN ORPHEUS – Fela Awoke (I Will Miss You)
by Walter Price
The memories, people, and experiences that remain the connective tissue to our origins carry us throughout our journeys. And the recent single, “Fela Awoke (I Will Miss You)”, from Toronto-based author/songwriter John Orpheus [Antonio Michael Downing], is a personal celebration of the then and now. Set to an Afro-beat and R&B thump and cradled by a subtle guitar, Orpheus’ vocals blend Sam Cooke and Bob Marley in this heartbreaking yet encouraging story.
I’ve been traveling for so very long, trying to find some place that feels like home.
And there are many things that you can take from me.
But what you can’t take away, is the love that is found, in our sweet destiny.
In a quote provided to the GTC, Orpheus gives some backstory, “Fela Awoke (I Will Miss You)” is a song that means everything to me. It tells a deeply personal story and is reaching for something more profound than I’ve ever tried to say through music.
“My people are Yoruba from West Africa and when I grew up in Trinidad, we still spoke some Yoruba words over 150 years later. So, as a grown musician, I always felt connected to Fela Kuti.
“In a year where life has been so fragile, this is my response.”
“Fela Awoke (I Will Miss You)” is a companion piece to the memoir, Saga Boy: My Life of Blackness and Becoming (Penguin Random House]. A book described as, “An enthralling, deeply personal account of a young immigrant’s search for belonging and Black identity amid the long-lasting effects of cultural dislocation.”
If you’re a fan of lived depths in storytelling, you hold your heroes close to your soul and utilize the past to build a solid foundation for your future self, then you should add this indelible single to your favorite life-is-a-highway playlist. And you can stream it and watch the film, directed by Patrick Hodgson, now at the GTC.
Artist photo courtesy of John Orpheus
Music & Lyrics & Vocals: JOHN ORPHEUS
Music Co-Writing & Production & Mixing: Mike Schlosser
Music Mastering: Brad Smith
Video Directed & Shot & Edited by Patrick Hodgson
“These words sum up the journey of my life and my new memoir, Saga Boy, out now through Penguin Random House. My journey has taken me from the jungles of Trinidad to the blizzards of Canada, the boardrooms of America, and the stages of the world. As “Fela Awoke (I Will Miss You)” reminds us, no matter where you go, you can still find your way home. Thank you for listening.” – Antonio Michael Downing