J.P. Bimeni & The Black Belts, Free Me  
J.P. Bimeni & The Black Belts
Free Me
GER 1xLP 
Label: Tucxone Records
Release Year: 2018
Style: Funk & Soul
 
  Tracks  
 
Side A:
1. Honesty Is A Luxury
2. Same Man
3. Don't Fade Away
4. Stupid
5. Pain Is The Name Of Your Game
6. Bangarang ***bonus Track

Side B:
1. Better Place
2. Madeleine
3. I Miss You
4. Free Me
5. Moonset
 
  A royal refugee turned soul survivor

On his debut album Free Me, Burundian-born JP Bimeni astonishes with a voice that recalls Otis Redding in his prime whilst resonating with the soul of Africa. A refugee who’s been living in London since the early 2000s, Bimeni sings songs of love and loss, hope and fear, with a conviction that comes from the extraordinary experiences life has thrown at him.

A descendant of the Burundian royal family, Bimeni fled Burundi aged 15 during the 1993 civil war. Following three attempts on his life - at school he watched as his schoolmates were murdered, he was then chased by motorcycle militia-men and finally poisoned by doctors in hospital - he was given refugee status and fled to the UK where he’s remained ever since.

Music has provided the solace that Bimeni has needed to move forward with his life: “If I didn’t have music I don´t know how I would have survived everything”, he says. With it’s classic 60s-sounding Motown and Stax-inspired grooves the album was written by musical director Eduardo Marti´nez and songwriter Marc Ibarz and Bimeni imbues these tales of love and loss with his tragic experiences making ‘Free Me’ a deep soul soundtrack to his pained life: “When I sing I feel like I’m cleansing myself: music is a way for me to forget”.
 
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