OKP is proud to premiere an exclusive stream of the latest LP, One of Many, from UK producer Eric Lau in advance of its’ June 17th release date. If you’ve been paying attention to the singles thus far, you’ve probably already stopped reading and hit play, for those of you new to Eric’s sound, prepare to listen to your life’s soundtrack for the foreseeable future. The 14 track release boasts features from OKP favorites like Georgia Anne Muldrow, Oddisee, Olivier St. Louis, Rahel, Tawiah, and Fatima who all seamlessly fit over Eric’s production as if each song was tailor made for them (and they probably were). Eric has long since been a name to check for from him past work with GAM, Guilty Simpson, Lupe Fiasco, and Oddisee, but with this LP he really stamps his place in the soul scene.
Eric may be one of many, but his lone light shines brightly on his sophomore effort. A few tracks really stand out for me personally like the Oddisee and Olivier assisted “Rise Up” and one of three tracks Rahel appears on, “Everytime” (that woman is a star in the making). There’s no need to hit skip at all throughout this musical journey, and with a runtime just over 45 mins, it’s the perfect complement to your daily commute. I could go on and on about how great I think the album is, but you’d be better served to listen yourself and let Eric intro the LP and break down each track for you, as he does below. Enjoy, and make sure you cop One of Many via Kilawatt Music on June 17th (iTunes vinyl)
The name of the album is One of Many. I had the title a few years back, it came from my growing understanding that everything in the universe is connected, and that I’m just one of many people on this planet, but together we the many make one.
The album features a number of people who also appeared on my debut album New Territories, since then we’ve all grown and become more experienced, and can more easily translate what we have in our heads into music. When I made my first album, I didn’t really know what I was doing production and mixing wise, I was just using Fruity Loops in my bedroom studio and doing everything ‘in the box.’ So it was a real blessing to record at Par-lé Studios on this album, and to work with such talented people. My main collaborators on the new album were Kaidi Tatham (2000Black) who also co-wrote a lot of the music with me, Alex Bonfanti (Par-lé) and Ben Jones (DivaGeek).
The album opens up with “Here” featuring Rahel. It’s great to be working with her again, she’s like my little sister and there’s a real synergy when we work together, I hope this track touches people as it’s one of my favorites. When we were making the demo it reminded me a lot of Minnie Ripperton in terms of the vibe as opposed to musicianship, so I thought it would be a nice way to open up the album.
“Lily of the Desert”
This is a crazy track! It started off by me just making an 8-bar loop, playing keys, organ, drums and bass, and then Kaidi added the following B and C section. We ended up playing the track so loud that we had noise complaints from neighbors, which is the first time that’s ever happened. The nature of the song is kinda gospel/funk and very uplifting which needed a vocalist that matched it, I immediately thought of Georgia Anne Muldrow. She understood the idea right away, and I hope that the message in her lyrics translates to the listeners.
“Rise Up” features Oddisee and Olivier St. Louis. The style of the track came out slightly West African in terms of rhythm, kinda Tony Allen-ish. I did the original demo on the day of the London riots, and wanted to do a song about uprising, it’s not so much a commentary on that specific event as it is a general observation of people coming together to stand up against something. The various clips at the beginning were taken from news sources from around the world, and hopefully people from different backgrounds will acknowledge the similarities in the issues being addressed.
Production wise for this track myself and Kaidi were trying to emulate that classic sound that we love from our musical heroes, and Rahel came in and blessed us with some ‘indirect song-writing’, meaning that you think it’s about one thing but it’s really about something totally different. I’m going to let you guys decipher it for yourselves…
This track features Tawiah and is about people who we’ve lost, not just those who have passed on but to the people we used to hang with when we were younger or even the people who we sometimes see now, but can see that their spirit has gone, it’s a tribute to them.
“Guide You” features Rahel on vocals, and Kaidi and Alex on a lot of the musicianship. I will never forget this day. It was September and we had the best day in the studio, just pure jokes all day! Then on the way back home we were involved in a car accident which really shook us up, thankfully everyone was OK. It left us with an appreciation of how fragile life can be and how important it is that we do what we love as much as possible, I carried that momentum with me for the rest of the album.
This is the (kind of) love song on the record. I wrote the first line of the lyrics and then Tawiah took it on and really made it her own, it’s about wanting to be closer to someone beyond what is physically possible.
Musically for this track I wanted to do a cross between Prince and J Dilla, but I’m not sure if it came out that way! I initially had a very short sample that we replayed and took further, and Alex and Kaidi really understood my vision and sonically helped me make it happen. The song that Tawiah wrote is really touching and I think sums up how many people in society are feeling right now, with the message being that you’re not alone, we’re all connected and sometimes it’s too easy to forget that.
I’ve always wanted to work with Fatima, but I’d never had the chance to do a full track up until this album. I wanted to keep the track simple so that her voice could shine, it’s very to the point and uplifting and I’m really proud of how the song turned out.
“Where To Go Now”
This is the last song on the album and also the second single. The song is about when you reach that place where you no longer have any fears, life becomes like a playground and you’re like where should I go now? and what should I do next? and that’s how I wanted to leave the listener feeling when they finished listening to the record.