Jimmy Sky takes us on his journey with “Banji Mashide EP”

LA Music Review | Art, stories and advice

Vulnerable, upbeat and truly powerful!

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Photo by Jeremy Torman

Hi Jimmy, welcome to LA Music Review! Tell us a little bit about you and your music.

Eclectic Australian singer, musician, actor and writer Jimmy Sky presents Banji Mashide: six songs, many lives, one journey.

after several years, numerous personal adventures and near-complete musical silence. Very loosely translated as ‘All Things Considered’, the lyrics are what life is all about – falling in love, getting married, breakups, relationship patchwork, laughter, sadness, depression, self destruction, existential death, personal redemption, rebirth, and starting anew. The record also serves as a tribute to Jimmy’s family, closest influences and loved ones.

This EP follows on from Something True, Jimmy’s tenth online-only, ‘digital-vinyl’ release from 2017, representing a significant departure from his previous lo-fi, arthouse home-basement recording style. By contrast, Banji Mashide is produced, mixed and engineered by ARIA award winner Govinda Doyle (Angus and Julia Stone, Lady of the Sunshine) who also performs on the record. Mastered by John Davis of Metropolis Studios (Nick Cave, The XX, Led Zeppelin) the record features guest vocals by Logan Dove, strings by Cye Wood, saxophone by Josh Appleby and trumpet by Tara Nielsen. Cover art by Jeremy Torman.

Although each song, the process of production, the record as a whole and the silence of decades between tracks possess their own complex stories, Jim has said of the record:

I hope listeners will resonate in their own way, with their own interpretation. More than anything, my wish is that Banji Mashide will bring joy to its audience.

Start streaming “Banji Mashide” here:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Congrats on the release! What was your inspiration when you were writing this project?

Once upon a time, many years ago, I wrote the song called “A Wedding Dance” for someone I loved.

That ended, and from then, it became like a dirge for me. Deeply painful to sing, play, or hear the rather basic original recording. I pushed myself heavily to create recordings because I knew it was a good song, but that was much as I could do, at that point. It really did take a decade of ups and downs for me to be able to view the song as something separate from my past. Performing it brought me to tears for a long time. However there came a point after even more life experience, pain, healing and the like, that I was able to think of it like I think of most other art; a gift for others, not for me, not about me or my life, but something more universal.

I hadn’t heard the song in a while, and I was doing some rummaging for something else in my YouTube channel nippa77, and heard it as if it was someone else performing. I really enjoyed it, and realised the song had a lot of value to others.

The thing people had been telling me for years if I was inebriated enough to perform it became true – this was the song. So it wasn’t about me anymore. Once I started to think of A Wedding Dance in that light, it was kind of like watering a flower, or feeding the good wolf. The feeling of joy around it bloomed, and I was happy with it thereafter.

Separately, you’ll remember I described earlier the ups and downs of what could be loosely called my music career. I’d come to a point where I felt things might be done, at least in terms of music performance. So I wanted to record one great song, to a high standard. I told Govinda (engineer, producer) as much, and he being the eternal optimist, had a good laugh and said something like “how about we record it and see how you feel then.” His inference was right, it’s very difficult to give up something you genuinely love. Once I heard even the bones of A Wedding Dance back, I realised it needed a B side to complement it, and it just snowballed from there.

I’ve known Govinda for a long time. We had worked together previously with both A Name Will Come and Love Hate Rebellion. His work ethic, personality, and creative ideas are second to none. Also his patience and emotional intelligence are incredible. Over the years, Govinda worked equally well with a group of rowdy young punk-metal boys as he did with the very studious and exacting Love Hate Rebellion crew. Also, his capacity to put up with my unique combination of whinging about small details, and randomly falling asleep on his couch when he was working out said details…he’s very supportive and has incredible patience. Plus we get along rather well. As something of an introvert and someone who doesn’t do BS very well, it is wonderful to have that kind of easy connection with your producer – mixing engineer- bass player – drummer – and friend – who is looking after your record. I can’t speak highly enough of Govinda.

What is your vision for this song?

Put simply, this is from my EP Banji Mashide, translated loosely as either “All Things Considered” or “The best choice of two bad choices” – so it’s about life. It’s about what life is all about. I’d like the listener to take away firstly, joy, but after that, their own resonance with the stories told. I hope it elevates their world just a little (or a lot if I’m lucky).

What is your favorite part of the song?

The musical performances of the guest musicians…

ARIA award winner Govinda Doyle (bass, drums) – Logan Dove (vocals) – Tara Nielsen (trumpet) – Cye Wood (strings) – Josh Appleby (sax). Also the lyrics written by my uncle and father respectively for Autumn of Our Love and Flower and the Rain.

Anything else we should know about it? Future releases? Upcoming events?

Banji Mashide was released online in November 2022 on BandCamp, and in hard copy early 2023. Jimmy is currently planning a tour – at the moment it encompasses UK and Europe, but USA may yet be in the mix.

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