yomi sode finds survival in black music in ‘distant daily ijó / ynwa’

December 8, 2020

Across the world, through oppression and many other atrocities inflicted, Black people have been denied access to spaces. Spaces to be ourselves, spaces to connect with out ancestors, spaces to sing and dance, spaces to grow, spaces to teach and learn, and spaces to BREATHE. Often pushed to the fringes of the city where communities are made up by a population of shacks, or we’re forced to stack on top of each other in project buildings, Black people have always managed to create cultures out of “spaces” some have deemed dangerous. With his new poetry piece ‘Distant Daily Ijó / YNWA’ and the striking visuals that come with it, British Nigerian artist, poet, playwright and performer YOMI SODE is paying homage to black music and culture, and the safe space that black music such as grime and afrobeats have been providing black bodies over the years.

Broken into two parts, ‘Daily Ijó / YNWA’ explores the themes of Black survival in spaces and how we have celebrated the very same spaces with music that’s changed the culture. For the six minute visual piece, Yomi Sode has collaborated with actor and director Elliot Barnes-Worrell (Ready Player One, Dolittle, Van der Valk) for its accompanying video, which was executive produced by fellow poet and creative Caleb Femi, who also stars in the captivating 6-minute visual spectacle alongside ‘Distant Daily Ijó’ producer Conrad Kira, Casualty and Peaky Blinders actor Peter
Bankole, and Solomon Israel from Brothers With No Game and Doctor Who. With references to black British music legends such as Wiley, Kano, Ghetts and D Double E, Yomi Sode perfectly
describes the ‘Distant Daily Ijó / YNWA’ video as “poetry, at the heart of a culture”.

Speaking about the inspiration behind ‘Distant Daily Ijó / YNWA’, Yomi Sode says, “There something to be said about the community of black people, and the many house parties/gatherings
within points of struggle. I have attended raves with friends, shared spaces with strangers, all of us with a multitude of things happening. The dancefloor serving itself as space to liberate us from the bulls**t. We walk out, living to fight another day. There’s something in the songs I’ve listened to that’s aided each waking moment. ‘Distant Daily Ijo’ is the release, ‘YNWA’ is the process. I can’t have one without the other. Both are just as important to my existence”.