Oshun Talade

Collaborative Project with Sheena Richardson and Ajibola music and Ricardo Axe.

One of my endless fascinations has been how our traditions connect; the similarities and the differences. The beauty of the pandemic was making amazing contacts with people all over the world remotely. During this time I made contact with Sheena Richardson an Ifa – Orisha practitioner and musician, (percussionist and singer) from Trinidad and Tobago and we set up one interactive zoom session sharing songs of Esu-Elegua from Trinidad Orisha worship, Lucumi and Candomble Ketu from Brasil with UK based practitioner Ricardo Axe. We had such a good session on the zoom, that when it came to prepare for the new album, I really wanted to have a track dedicated to Oshun from these three traditions, and incorporating Sheena and Ricardo.

This is a short extract of the hour workshop we did on Lucumi, Trinidad Orisha and Brasilian songs to Esu, ( Exu) Featuring Sheena Richardson teaching, then Daniela De Armas, Jimena Pardo and Astrid Jones from the London Lucumi Choir and then ending with Ricardo Axe and Daniela

The first step was to have a zoom session with Sheena and Ricardo where we learned the the various songs.

I also discovered a version of Oshun Talade, on an old Smithsonian Recording, that I hadn’t heard in Cuba in Tambors. I was struck at how similar it was to the sequence from Trinidad.

Alberto Jenkins Oshun Talade

The next step was to record the three sequences. It was amazing to send Sheena to the studio with her drummer and to receive the amazing track of traditional drumming and singing. We also went into the studio in Hackney London with Ricardo and we recorded the Brasilian and Lucumi Versions.

Sheena went into the studio with her drummer, and literally between them recorded all the percussion and all the voices. In total there were around 16 or so Audio stems. So here is a great opportunity to thank everyone in Trinidad: Credits: Iya drum and Congo – Olumbe Diaz Omele -Sheena Ajibola Richardson. Recording studio – Gnote. Studio Engineers – Chad and Garvin Marcelle. Hope we can actually get together in person at some point!

I was quite keen on following up the remix that London Based Producer Raf Riley ( Etta Bond, Professor Green, Labrinth, Diplo, Naughty Boy, Dr. Luke amongst others ) who did for our track Baba Fururu- Ofunruru, (https://lucumichoir.bandcamp.com/track/baba-fururu-ofun-ruru-raf-riley-remix-featuring-ricardo-axe) with a London flavoured remix of those three tracks. Bringing the sound of my tradition to my home town. Raf came up with two remixes. One extended version we have released as a single, available on all Social Media Platforms.


The other track was a remix of the three traditional sequences. I got together with Leo Durrant, to edit a video which I really hoped to demonstrate the community and lineage aspects of our respective Orisha cultures. The community aspect of Worship, the aspects of Oshun who symbolises all things that make life worth living; the song, the dance, the joy. The natural domain of Oshun, which focuses on the flowing river and fresh waters and there is the appearance of a vulture which is one of Oshun’s Avatar. What many people may see as an ugly creature, is actually a beautiful creature, who is provides such an important function within nature and who in some places is endangered. I am not such a fan of how Oshun is portrayed in the west, and hope that also the video will not perpetuate the images usually associated with Oshun.

We will be featuring the contemporary track and also the original tracks for your pleasure on our new album “IYA” which will be released next year. It’s being mixed and mastered as I write!

About oshunschild 24 Articles
I am a London based Iyalosha, ( Priest in the Lucumi tradition) crowned with Ochun; who is passionate about the arts I Grew up in London, mixed background, third generation musician. I went to study music in Cuba in 1986, since then I have done many things. I was one of the first Salsa Dance Teachers in London in 1989, before it became the sport of a million suburban housewives; formed Orchestra Salsa Y Ache in late 80's, toured and did many gigs for seven years; then formed Salsasonica which recorded with Buena Vista's Guajiro Mirabal. I have taught Cuban Music to children. I have also organised five musical trips to Cuba. I Have written about Latin Music, and I am passionate about singing and encouraging everyone to sing. I formally ran "singing for the terrified" at the Mary Ward Centre, in addition to a world music choir. I formed the London Lucumi Choir in 2006 which has performed all over the UK, in major theatres such as the Barbican, the Southbank and Union Chapel, Rich Mix, The British Museum and the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall. In addition, we have performed at festivals such as La Linea and Bestival. We have performed on Radio and Television and have consistently been nominated in the Lukas awards, where we were second in our category in 2018 ( for contribution to Latin Music and Arts). I Have been a practitioner of Santeria, also known as Lucumi since 1986. Between the years 1991 and 2005 I received My Elekes, Warriors and Olokun. In 2005 I received my Ikofafun ( Ifa) and on February 9 2006 I became initiated as a Priestess of Ochun in Luyano, Havana. My Branch of the religion is La Pimienta. I was born from Obatala and Yemaya. My Iyatobi Oshainle passed this year and Omi Laibo is my Ojubona. I received Pinardo with Baba Funke and Omi Saide in Havana in July 2018. I run an active Ile (religious house/Orisha temple) In addition to running the Choir and guiding Godchildren in the Lucumi faith. I am also a diviner of the Dilogun. I enjoy spending time with my family. I have a passion for art and nature, good music, genealogy and travel. I enjoy writing, beading and embroidery, when I have the time! PS I also have adhd which predicts that I will decorate the entire house with different colours every few years!