Ghostpoet is a British vocalist, songwriter, and musician whose material brims with drowsy anxiety. Active since the late 2000s, his releases include the Mercury Prize-nominated albums Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam (2011) and Shedding Skin (2015), the U.K. Top 40 entry Dark Days + Canapés (2017), and I Grow Tired But Dare Not Fall Asleep (2020).
Obaro Ejimiwe, the artist known as Ghostpoet, became involved with music while attending university. He was a member of a grime collective but eventually gravitated toward a less energetic production sound and MC’ing style, introduced on 2010′s The Sound of Strangers, a self-released four-track missive that caught the ears of BBC DJ Gilles Peterson. Peterson licensed the EP for his Brownswood label and featured a demo version of the track “Liines” on the sixth Brownswood Bubblers compilation, issued that November. The following February, Brownswood released Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam, the first Ghostpoet full-length and a Mercury Prize nominee. A subsequent alliance with the Play It Again Sam label quickly yielded Some Say I So I Say Light, released in 2013 with Tony Allen, Lucy Rose, and This Heat’s Charles Hayward among its guests. Featuring more guitar, a full band on most tracks, and a collaboration with Maxïmo Park’s Paul Smith, the 2015 album Shedding Skin was a stylistic departure for the artist and became his second recording shortlisted for the Mercury Prize. Ghostpoet completed his fourth album after he worked with Massive Attack on “Come Near Me.” Dark Days + Canapés, led by the stirring single “Immigrant Boogie,” arrived in 2017 and reached number 39 on the U.K. album chart. Three years later, he returned with I Grow Tired But Dare Not Fall Asleep. ~ Andy Kellman