There are occasions when the earth leaves a man to his own devices.
L.A. Salami was born, fostered, returned – confused as a child being thrown between the two families and the two worlds (one in London, one in Broadstairs, Kent), but it is this, he’ll tell you, that made him. He escaped young, poetry and film obsessed, and ever dreaming of making films himself one day. This was his main pursuit, Spielberg was his god, Jean-Luc Godard his hero, neither family introduced him particularly to music. Bob Dylan and Blind Willie Mctell came to him when he was young – a pre-teen – by accident, on a radio, between the Leonard Cohen and the Hip Hop he loved. Massive ideas, thoughts, expressions riding on a wave of simplicity. It changed the way he heard music, and his idea of it. But this was all non-consequential, no one could afford to buy him an instrument, and he could not afford to buy one himself. There was a two week period during a summer in his youth where he got his hands on a mini guitar he didn’t own. He remembers melting completely into a state of belonging – not knowing chords, or anything about music, but making up songs anyway, singing, then that guitar not being around anymore. He grew, wrote, wandered, bought a harmonica in the key of C, practiced with that, was consumed by thoughts of human frailty, human meaning, violence, war, reason; he moved to Colchester, Essex for a while and slept rough in cinemas before his friend gave him an old busted classical guitar at the age of 21 to learn how to play with. 3 months later he wrote his first song. A month after that he wrote the first song he kept. A week after that he found it difficult to stop writing songs. Two years after he was given the guitar he returned to London and began performing around town. Other things happened before, during and after all of this, but he believes this all to be unimportant in context.