Okumu released his first solo record Knopperz in 2021; an instrumental concept album based on pianist Duval Timothy’s 2017 album Sen AmIt was friend and mentor Lexxx who sparked the soul searching that kicked off his next record after he told Okumu that he was trying to explain who Okumu was but struggled to summarise his vast catalogue.
“There are all these ways into these aspects of who I am and I felt like he was saying, it would be so cool if you could find out how to say who you are in a comprehensive way”. Okumu took on that challenge and in response devised his sophomore release I Came From Love, a tapestry of Black experience that explores ancestry, the legacy of slavery, what it means to exist in an unjust society, and Okumu’s own family history.
The album writing and demoing process began in January 2021 at Lexxx’s East Sussex studio The Barn, while early recordings were completed at Okumu’s studio with Tom Skinner on drums, and Nick Ramm on keys, and Aviram Barath on synths. On I Came From Love, Okumu calls on a star-studded array of guests, including Eska, Kwabs, Wesley Joseph, Robert Stillman, Anthony Joseph, Byron Wallen, Raven Bush, and Grace Jones.
Rather than release solely under his name, Okumu has chosen the moniker ‘Dave Okumu & the 7 Generations’, which Okumu sees as “my actual ancestors, the ancestors of others, my musical ancestors, and my descendants”. Sonically the album hits a kaleidoscopic frenzy of notes, rocketing through bass heavy rhythms, neo soul-tinged cries and frenetic spoken word passages.