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Ibibio Sound Machine Takes Us Around The World Without Leaving London

Ibibio Sound Machine performing in the Pool Recording Studio in London
Kimberly Junod
/
WXPN
Ibibio Sound Machine performing in the Pool Recording Studio in London

British-born singer Eno Williams grew up in Nigeria, where her family passed on storytelling traditions in the Ibibio language. Eno's grandmother used to tease her, saying, "You always sing in English, when are you going to sing in Ibibio?" When Eno eventually came around to the idea, she noticed that the rhythms and melodies inherent in the language made it a perfect fit for songwriting. Now, in Ibibio Sound Machine, Eno fuses the language of her roots with the musical roots of her bandmates, who hail from Ghana, Trinidad, Australia and Brazil.

Ibibio Sound Machine's music — and its very existence — is a unique testament to the global city where the members came together; London. We meet the band at the Pool Recording Studio in London to hear live performances of songs from its latest album, Doko Mien.

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.