“I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun” by Samuel Yirga feat. Creole Choir of Cuba

19 Jun, 2012

Samuel Yirga’s re-working of the 1970s psychedelic soul classic “I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun” is the first digital single taken from ‘Guzo’, the debut album by the young Ethiopian pianist who is also a member of Dub Colossus.


The song was written and first recorded in 1971 by the American band Rotary Connection featuring Minnie Riperton on vocals. In 1997 a cover version by Nuyorican Soul featuring Jocelyn Brown was released on Talkin’ Loud.

Samuel’s beautifully-arranged version is infused with spiritual soulfulness by the voices and powerful harmonies of The Creole Choir of Cuba, a Cuban choir whose songs go back to their Haitian roots; plus guest vocalists Mel Gara, a British singer whose origins are in Iraq; and Nigerian-British singer Nicolette, famous for her collaborations with Massive Attack, as well as a brass arrangement by the mighty Horns of Negus.

Recorded on a freezing cold snowy night last winter, it made the Real World Studios feel as warm as the tropics, and is quite possibly the most perfect soundtrack to chilled out summer days.

The song has been gaining airplay already, including plays by Gilles Peterson and Craig Charles on BBC 6 Music, and World on 3 and Late Junction on BBC Radio 3 amongst many others.

Check it out on SoundCloud or YouTube (please feel free to share these links):

“I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun” by Samuel Yirga is available now on iTunes and http://womadshop.com/detail/651

Samuel’s album ‘Guzo’ will be released by Real World Records on 9 July.


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