Deeply personal, inward-looking lyrics paired with toe-tapping beats...

After teasing fans with singles, Jordan Mackampa brings his soulful voice to a full body of work, as he releases ‘Foreigner’. The album is a snapshot of Mackampa – a confident, honest modern soul singer with a certain swagger about him. Combining deeply personal, inward-looking lyrics with toe-tapping beats, he’s created a fantastic debut album.   

The project kicks off with ‘Magic’, a feel-good track about the moments a person plays on your mind and you crave time with them, infused with touches of samba. The following songs are peppered with influences from the past that have clearly played a big part in Mackampa’s journey. Soul legends such as Marvin Gaye and Bill Withers clearly influence the music he makes, pairing what have the potential to be timeless vocals with hip-swinging melodies.

But it’s the album’s title track, ‘Foreigner’ that stands out the most. The song traces Mackampa’s journey through life: attempting to fit into a new home without losing touch with his roots, the London-based singer embracing both his Congolese roots and his upbringing in the Midlands. 

The song encapsulates the feelings many young immigrants face when moving to a new country, with different attitudes and cultures. Within itself, it expresses Macampa’s deep personal battle with fitting in but it also echoes feelings that many others have. As well as his own journey, Mackampa also draws influence from his mother, who’s clearly been an important figure in his life, represented by ‘Lula’ and ‘Care For Your Mother’. The former recreates a frank and honest conversation with his mother about the early years in London, while 'Care for Your Mother' is an ode to the person who had to play the role of both parents in raising him.   

Mackampa has kicked off 2020 with the release of ‘Foreigner’ and he will continue to build his reputation as he embarks on a tour of the UK and Ireland next month.

8/10

Words: Amar Mehta

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