Track of the Week "La La" by Togolese hip-hop artist Tabi Bonney comes after years of success and a short hiatus. It begins with a decadent and dynamic electronic direction, which is new ground that Bonney hopes to explore further. The flavoursome yet simple sound is futuristic and buoyant, so keep an ear to the ground for a sonic landscape of craggy, lush and fidgety goodness.
Born in the red-earthed city of Lome in Togo, Tabi Bonney (full name Tabiabue) had a rocky childhood, being completely uprooted from his life when political unrest drove his mother and father, famed Afro-funk muso Itadi Bonney, into exile. Itadi’s most revered song, “Mayi Africa”, urged his countrymen to unite under the strain, however this did not sit well with the government.
The family moved to Benin and then France, finally settling in Washington, DC, which exposed Tabi to a much wider set of musical influences, even with his father’s immense involvement and celebrity within the soukous, highlife and reggae scenes in Togo. With big shoes to fill, Tabi let his love for music lie dormant until college, where he and a friend, Haziq Ali, formed a duo called Organized Rhyme. By the time he had graduated, he was ready to delve right into a solo career in music.
His two singles off of his first album, "The Pocket" and "Doin It," featured the likes of singer-songwriter Raheem DeVaughn. He quickly rose in hip-hop-centric circles to open for acts such as Wale and Outkast and had Yasiin Bey, aka Mos Def, drop a verse on “Chop Chop” in 2012. Slightly left of what the hip-hop world has expected of many rappers today, Tabi has an open mind and a keen spirit for exploration in music about him, which we see in his latest offering, "La La."