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Loah's Worldly And Winding Musical Path

Mark William Logan
Courtesy of the artist

Sallay Matu Garnett, who makes music as Loah, grew up in Ireland playing fiddle and orchestral violin. When she was 12 years old, her family moved to Gambia where she became immersed in polyrhythmic drumming and dance, and then to Sierra Leone where she started writing little bits of songs on piano.

Loah's voice is stunning and so is the music she makes, which she refers to as ArtSoul. In this session, Loah shares stories from her worldly upbringing, and from her winding career path as an adult: She worked as a pharmacist before making the leap to become a musician and describes the very urgent need she felt to change course and create. She also explains how co-writing the song "Someone New" which appeared on Hozier's debut album helped her find the courage to make the leap.

We met up with Loah for a chat and a performance at the iconic Windmill Lane Recording Studios in Dublin as part of our World Cafe Sense of Place Series. Hear the session in the player.

Copyright 2021 XPN. To see more, visit XPN.

Talia Schlanger hosts World Cafe, which is distributed by NPR and produced by WXPN, the public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. She got her start in broadcasting at the CBC, Canada's national public broadcaster. She hosted CBC Radio 2 Weekend Mornings on radio and was the on-camera host for two seasons of the television series CBC Music: Backstage, as well as several prime-time music TV specials for CBC, including the Quietest Concert Ever: On Fundy's Ocean Floor. Schlanger also guest hosted various flagship shows on CBC Radio One, including As It Happens, Day 6 and Because News. Schlanger also won a Canadian Screen Award as a producer for CBC Music Presents: The Beetle Roadtrip Sessions, a cross-country rock 'n' roll road trip.