Stamp Mix 111: Lynda Dawn

Lynda Dawn is a soul out of time. True as that statement rings, it fails to encapsulate the timeless spirit that her vocals and songwriting ability bring to every track she is on. Beginning her career as a backup singer and songwriter, Lynda has steadily and purposefully become a maestro of her craft. Following an appearance Gilles Peterson‘s Brownswood Bubblers Thirteen compilation with her song ‘Move’, her debut 2019 EP, At First Light gained significant critical acclaim, and she was picked by The Guardian as one of their ones to watch in 2021.

Raised in a pentecostal Nigerian household, Lynda started singing in church where she got what she calls her “spiritual education” into music. Surrounded by sounds as rich and varied as traditional afrobeats, highlife and gospel, her distinct neo-soul/R&B sound effortlessly embodies a dense Afro-spiritual history. One that longingly calls back to the larger than life divas that fuelled the music of the 70s and 80s. For her Stamp Mix, Lynda maps out sensual disco and boogie grooves alongside an interview about her artistic growth during the pandemic, and her experiences remotely collaborating with Beskept and XL Middleton, the latter lifted from her new boogie 7” on Extra Soul Perception

Roses 7″ is out 23rd July and available to pre-order from Bandcamp. Lynda Dawn plays We Out Here Festival 2021 (19th-22nd Aug).

We now premiere all our mixes a week early on Mixcloud Select. Subscribe to our channel to listen first, download the mixes, and ensure that the artists included in each one gets paid. Read more about why we’ve joined Select.

First, our usual ice-breaker – what’s your first ever musical memory?

Probably Fela Kuti – Yellow Fever. I have these hazy memories of me as a baby falling asleep with my Mum carrying me on her back while she sang an adapted (child-friendly) version of Yellow Fever. I specifically remember the breakdown part “Where dey go say: teacher. Oya!”

How has the last year or so been for you? How has it been being an artist in isolation?

This past year has represented new beginnings for myself and for many of my loved ones. It’s been a transformative period and I’ve had to learn to embrace the change and trust in the process

First and foremost I’ve focused on practicing self care and looking after my wellbeing. It’s crazy to think of how much I was neglecting that prior to lockdown. If there’s anything good to take away from all of this, I have to admit I am grateful for the time of reflection. The journeys of a lot of artists are often filled with anxiety, stress and so on, so it’s really important to take a breather every now and then.

Apart from that I’ve used the downtime to further explore and experiment with my sounds. I’ve been developing my production and sound engineering skills which has been very beneficial. I’ve also enjoyed the process of creating without  that added industry pressure to keep churning out content.

Now restrictions are on the verge of officially lifting, how are you feeling about getting back on stage and performing again?

– A little bit nervous but for the most part excited and ready to get back on the road. I never really got the chance to perform my music to live crowds because lockdown started right as I was getting started. It feels like it’s been a long time coming and I feel like it’s time. I’m looking forward to connecting with audiences again.

This past year has taught me that nothing is certain, so it’s given me even more incentive to just have fun and be free on stage.

You’ve got a new 7” coming out on Extra Soul Perception later this month, can you tell us a bit about the writing and recording process behind the original?

“Roses” was produced by Beskept. He’s a great and super prolific producer currently based in Canada.  To be honest I’m more accustomed to collaborating with artists/producers in person as I feel that having a personal connection often helps with the sound, but in this instance the distance wasn’t a problem at all.

We were introduced via a mutual connect and had been emailing each other ideas back and forth for a minute. But as soon as he sent me the instrumental for Roses, I was hooked. The beat was already complete and we didn’t need to change anything once I recorded my vocals. The writing process took a day or so. It was quite an easy and organic process.

It’s backed up by a remix from XL Middleton, how did that relationship come about?

– I’ve been a fan of XL for some time now. I dig his sounds and his label Mofunk records. I really appreciate his  dedication to the modern funk sound. It is genuine and authentic.

We both wanted to work together as-well so I figured a remix to Roses would be the perfect opportunity. 

What was it like working with him? Was it a collaborative process?

– He’s based in LA and I’m in London so it was all done remotely. Again, it’s not my preferred method of collaborating but all things considered, there wasn’t really an option to get around this so we made do. 

I pretty much left XL to it as I trusted him. As soon as I heard the first couple of bars II was thoroughly impressed. He was super efficient with it. It’s a slight detour from my usual musical aesthetic but I love the west coast 90’s g-funk vibe. I think it works really well and is a perfect drop for the summer. He did not disappoint!

Could you tell us about the mix you’ve made for us?

It’s pretty much a mixed bag of some of my favourite dusty, worn out records and some newer songs I’m into as well. I didn’t think too much about it, just had fun with it really. For the most part I picked out records that I’ve had in regular rotation throughout lockdown. Songs that have uplifted and inspired me.

Are there any standout tracks that hold a special significance?

– Viola Wills – Dare To Dream. Heavily slept on track by the late great Mis Wills. This song definitely helped me get through lockdown. Viola’s vocals, the lyrics, the production – all incredibly inspiring. From start to finish, the song takes you on a journey every time. 

Also K-Maxx – Cupkcakin. One of my favourite songs by the late, great K-Maxx who sadly transitioned last year. He was an amazing producer and a really great guy. He had such a bright future. I really admire his work. 

What’s on the horizon for the rest of the year? Any plans for new releases?

Of course I’m looking forward to playing live shows again. It still feels quite surreal imagining myself playing at festivals this summer but it’s exciting. Other than that, I’m hoping to finish off my sophomore project which I’m very excited about. 

Roses 7″ is out 23rd July on Extra Soul Perception and available to pre-order from Bandcamp. Lynda Dawn plays We Out Here Festival 2021 (19th-22nd Aug).

We now premiere all our mixes a week early on Mixcloud Select. Subscribe to our channel to listen first, download the mixes, and ensure that the artists included in each one gets paid. Read more about why we’ve joined Select.


Brief Encounter – Human
Donny Hathaway – Valdez in the Country
Keith Mansfield / John Cameron – Husky Birdsong
Filó Machado – Baião Para o Sul
The Vibrations – Shake It Up
The Caesars – Get Yourself Together
Ju-Par Universal Orchestra – Funky Music
George Duke – Fools
Love Unlimited Orchestra – Intermission
Kool & the Gang – Heaven at Once
Anointed – The Call
Magic Lady – Hold Tight
Nathaniel Best – Call Him
Luther Vandross – Don’t You Know That
Viola Wills – Dare To Dream
Lynda Dawn – Fonk Street
K-Maxx – Cupcakin’
Peter Brown – Without Love
Larry Dunn – All About Love (Interlude)

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