Celebrate West Africa with Beverly Glenn-Copeland’s “Africa Calling”

Beverly Glenn-Copeland is returning to music and honoring his heritage while doing it. 

After 20 long years, the singer-songwriter will release a full-length studio album. The Ones Ahead will be available on July 28.

Album cover of The Ones Ahead
The Ones Ahead album cover

He released the album’s first single, “Africa Calling,” on May 14. The gorgeous track is lush with rhythmic drums and soulful vocals. In creating this song, Glenn-Copeland integrated traditional West African Drums.

Glenn-Copeland recalled performing with West African artist Dido — an expert drummer — in the ’80s and falling in love with it. On the track, Glenn-Copeland explains: 

Over the years, in many conversations, I have come to understand that I share an undefinable, unnamed feeling — a calling — with many other members of the African diaspora, a bone-deep need to explore and express our heritage. Alongside the grief, there is a longing to know our roots, hidden from us as family lines were torn apart in the terrible days of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. In a world still caught in the ties of colonialism, I know I am not alone in needing to heed the call of this generations-old longing.

Beverly Glenn-Copeland

The Canada-based artist first began making music in the ’60s. He created a few albums until eventually creating the 1986 album, Keyboard Fantasies. At the time of release, Keyboard Fantasies barely sold and many copies were left in storage for decades. On one fateful day in 2015, a record collector reached out to Glenn-Copeland about getting a copy, thus setting off the world to re-engaging with the art of Keyboard Fantasies

The LP can be listened to here: 

With his return to music, Glenn-Copeland plans to a sincere and intimate album, featuring influences from American jazz, Irish fiddle songs and West African percussion. While the album was recorded in 2021, Glenn-Copeland began writing the music in the 2010s. Glenn-Copeland says the album will address themes of love in the face of destruction, wisdom passed through generations and sustainability. 

While waiting for The Ones Ahead, feel free to follow Glenn-Copeland on Instagram

“Africa Calling” is available to stream on all platforms. Listen here:

I’m a journalist based in the Bay Area with a passion for writing about art, comedy and music.
I’m a journalist based in the Bay Area with a passion for writing about art, comedy and music.

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