Song of Lament is a labor of love and hope I’ve been writing over the last 6yrs. Lend me your support so I can finally release it.
There’s no doubt that there’s a better future in store for Naomi Wachira, especially after her great breakout year in 2013. Named the Best Folk Singer in Seattle by alt publication Seattle Weekly and featured on their cover, Naomi became the toast of the town, which in turn led to a friendship with the much-loved indie songwriter Damien Jurado, who came onboard to produce her debut album in 2014.
A Seattle-via-Kenya native, Wachira’s approach to folk music is doubly soulful and accessible in nature. With a slight world music edge to her arrangements and performances, Wachira’s songs take pretty clear influence from bluesy folk singer-songwriters like Tracy Chapman, and in the live setting, her performances are beautifully intimate and impassioned.
When you listen to Naomi’s songs, you’ll hear the lifelong influence of two powerful, groundbreaking female songwriters: Miriam Makeba and Tracy Chapman. Makeba became one of the biggest stars on the continent through her socially aware songwriting, something she shared closely with American songwriter Tracy Chapman. Chapman was a voice for social change as well, but Naomi loved her positive idealism, a concept that informs all the songs on Naomi’s album. That’s why you won’t hear any stereotypical African music on Naomi’s debut. She’s making music inspired both by the music she discovered in America and the music she grew up with in Kenya, not a Western conception of how African music should sound.
The daughter of a Kijabe pastor, Naomi joined the traveling family band at five years old, spreading the good word through gospel song. This explains the beautiful harmonies on her album, for as she says “In my family everyone sang and everyone knew their part. Harmony was second nature for us.” Larger African concepts also play a part in Naomi’s music, like the Zulu idea of Ubuntu. This concept means “I am because we are,” and it’s a community-based worldview that focuses on caring for each other.
This is why the songs on Naomi’s debut album sound so alive. They’re plucked from her own life, powered by her Northwest musical community, and imbued with her own sense of hopefulness.
In the creator’s own words: I remember reading the headline on April 19, 2015 that 700 men, women and children had lost their lives in the Mediterranean Sea, while on a search for better conditions for living. A week before that, 148 students had lost their lives at Garissa University in Kenya from a terrorist attack. I was utterly overwhelmed not only by the darkness happening all around me, but also the wear and tear I was feeling on my own existence. This became the spring board for my album Song of Lament, which is a collection of songs I’ve written in the last 6 years that tell different stories of our broken humanity. The hope I have with this album is to create a space for each of us to lament about the harsher realities of being human, breathe, and maybe begin to hope.
Naomi Wachira has started a crowdfunding campaign with a goal of raising $20,000. The first phase of the album, which is recording it, was just completed at the famed London Bridge Studio with Producer Eric Lilavois. Now comes the second phase, which is raising funds to ensure that all services provided are fully paid for. The third phase will be finally getting the album distributed everywhere in the world. The fund raised will be used for the following expenses:
- Pay for studio time, Producer, mixing and mastering and musicians
- Photographer (for recording sessions)
- Incentive Production Costs
- Taxes + Fees
Backers have several prize tiers and categories to choose from, but you’ve got to be quick!
Thank you so much for any help you’re able to give. And please forward this campaign to anyone you think may be interested and willing to help.
If you want to support this project, you can do so by donating on her Kickstarter page: