L.A. Salami: Tiny Desk Concert The story songs and poetry of Lookman Adekunle Salami, who writes and records as L.A. Salami, recall the brilliant and epic ramblings of Bob Dylan.

Tiny Desk

L.A. Salami

Lookman Adekunle Salami, who writes and records as L.A. Salami, is a storyteller and a poet. His songs are deliberate meanderings on the mundane and the poignancy in everyday life. And in the way Bob Dylan took his guitar and harmonica to accompany his rarely repeating ramblings, L.A Salami embraces a similar aesthetic, albeit as a black Englishman instead of a white Minnesotan.

His opening song at the Tiny Desk, "Day to Day (For 6 Days a Week)," runs about six minutes, with over 600 words. He seems to rattle them all off effortlessly, with compelling, complicated rhymes that never repeat and phrases such as:

"Went to work for the NHS -

Mental health, people depressed.

Met Joanne - Scared of living,

Afraid of dying, terrified of being.

Then met Paul, a schizophrenic,

Shaking limbs, paranoid fanatic -

Unwashed 10 days in a row -

So afraid almost paralytic."

L.A. Salami released one of my favorite albums of 2016, Dancing With Bad Grammar, which was produce by Matt Ingram, known for his creative work with artists as diverse as Laura Marling and FKA Twigs. So if you have a penchant for broadside ballads, and observations of our times reflected through the mind of a brilliant songwriter, take a look at L.A. Salami.

Set List

"Day To Day (For 6 Days A Week)"

"Terrorism (The ISIS Crisis)"

"My Thoughts, They Too Will Tire"

Musician

Lookman Adekunle Salami (vocals, guitars, harmonicas)

Credits

Producers: Bob Boilen, Morgan Noelle Smith; Audio Engineers: Josh Rogosin; Videographer: Morgan Noelle Smith; Production Assistant: Jenna Li; Photo: Liam James Doyle/NPR.

For more Tiny Desk concerts, subscribe to our podcast.

[+] read more[-] less

More From Tiny Desk

Leslie Odom Jr. plays a Tiny Desk Concert Ben de la Cruz/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Ben de la Cruz/NPR

Leslie Odom Jr.

The Tony- and Grammy-winning singer, actor, author and Hamilton star performs three songs from Mr, his genre-bending new solo album.

Dave plays a Tiny Desk Concert at NPR (Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR). Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR

Dave

The British rapper made a trip all the way from the UK just for this Tiny Desk performance and powered through a set that made the personal political.

BJ the Chicago Kid performs at a Tiny Desk Concert on Sept. 3, 2019. (Emily Bogle/NPR) Emily Bogle/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Emily Bogle/NPR

BJ The Chicago Kid

The 34-year old R&B mainstay used his moment at the desk to fit in as many of his most cherished songs as possible — Nine songs in 17 minutes to be exact.

Rio Mira plays a Tiny Desk Concert (Shuran Huang/NPR). Shuran Huang/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Shuran Huang/NPR

Rio Mira

Rio Mira's music celebrates life along the river that separates Ecuador and Colombia: soft breezes, loving friends, the embrace of Africa and lots of festejando!

Chai plays a Tiny Desk Concert (Bob Boilen/NPR). Bob Boilen/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Bob Boilen/NPR

CHAI

The group from Japan is on a mission to expand the conventional meaning of "cute." Their performance included synchronized dancing, pom-poms and matching pink uniforms, with a heavy, angular sound.

Jovino Santos Neto Trio plays a Tiny Desk Concert (Shuran Huang/NPR). Shuran Huang/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Shuran Huang/NPR

Jovino Santos Neto Trio

Along with his trio, the pianist, multi-instrumentalist and composer cast a spell over the NPR Music offices in this joyful turn behind the Tiny Desk.

Summer Walker plays a Tiny Desk Concert on Sept. 13, 2019 (Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR). Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR

Summer Walker

One week after releasing a record-shattering studio debut, the Atlanta native brings a glowing R&B set to the Tiny Desk.

Taylor Swift performs during a Tiny Desk concert on Oct. 10, 2019. (Bob Boilen/NPR) Bob Boilen/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Bob Boilen/NPR

Taylor Swift

As she settled in for this stripped-down set, Taylor Swift looked out over the office. "I just decided to take this as an opportunity to show you guys how the songs sounded when I first wrote them."

Brittany Howard plays a Tiny Desk Concert (Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR). Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR

Brittany Howard

The Alabama Shakes singer and guitarist brought an eight-piece backing band to the Tiny Desk for a set of deeply personal and affecting songs.

Charly Bliss plays a Tiny Desk Concert (Bob Boilen/NPR). Bob Boilen/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Bob Boilen/NPR

Charly Bliss

The vibrancy of the band can feel childlike and candy-coated. But the group's songs are more about the pain of entering adulthood and leaving some of that sweetness behind.

Back To Top