UK: BBC pays tribute to one of the UK’s most exceptional songwriters
“I AM AN ATHEIST HOMOSEXUAL BLACK ARTIST” – LABI SIFFRE
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The BBC’s most prestigious arts program, Imagine, has paid an 80-minute tribute to one of the UK’s most accomplished songwriters, Labi Siffre, 76, writer of evergreen hits including ‘It Must Be Love’, ‘Crying Laughing Loving Lying’, and ‘Something Inside (So Strong)’.
The documentary traces the life story of the self-confessed outsider. “From the beginning I knew I wasn’t part of the mainstream,“ he says. “I am an atheist, homosexual black artist.”
Listen to Labi Siffre – This Is My Song Here: https://
Siffre’s songs have been covered by artists ranging from Madness to Kenny Rogers and later sampled by a new generation of hip-hop artists including Eminem and Jay-Z.
In 2001 he performed ‘Something Inside (So Strong)’ at the South Africa Freedom Day Concert in London’s Trafalgar Square in front of an audience of 20,000 including Nelson Mandela and then British Premier Tony Blair. The song’s message of strength in the face of adversity was celebrated in a 2014 episode of the BBC Radio 4 program Soul Music.
Love is the dominant theme of Siffre’s work and explains his 20-year voluntary withdrawal from writing and performing music. He spent the past two decades caring for his partner of 48 years, Peter Lloyd, who ultimately died in 2013. It reveals that the musician is currently working on his first new music since 1998.
Hugo Turquet, BMG SVP Publishing UK, said, “We are proud of all of our writers, but Labi Siffre is in a class of his own. This documentary is a fitting tribute to a man whose work continues to ring down the decades, providing a voice for the marginalized and dispossessed, and doing what the greatest music does best, speaking of real emotion.”
The Imagine program has consistently profiled the greatest contemporary names in the arts, ranging from the visual arts (Barbara Hepworth, Ai Weiwei). literature (Philip Roth, Doris Lessing), architecture (Richard Rogers, Frank Gehry), and music (David Bowie, Joan Baez, U2).
February 22, 2022 9:00am ET by Pressparty