The Invisible's Dave Okumu's playlist: Prince, D'Angelo and more

From soul-reviving rhythms to the most romantic music ever written – and a comforting highlight of the prematurely ended purple reign

The Internet – Get Away

I love everything about this track – the harmonic progression, the vocal delivery, the tone, the sludge, swagger and rhythm. Hits me in all the right places. Rhythmically, the feel is reminiscent of Kendrick’s Recipe. I’m obsessed with that beat and I can tell you it’s no mean feat capturing its essence. I would urge everyone to have a go. The right rhythms are so good for the soul.

D’Angelo – Charade

He’s channelling on this one, no doubt. D’Angelo has always been a profound inspiration for me. Encountering Voodoo was a completely formative experience. I love hearing music that is so steeped in its ancestry yet ultimately so liberated. That’s how I want to exist on this planet. I first heard this track live before the album was out and it felt magnificent to my ears and spirit. I love the fact that he changed the lyrics so that he could comment on current events in the US.

Prince – If I Was Your Girlfriend

I’m not sure I would be a musician were it not for Prince. Sign o’ the Times was the first album I ever bought. That record transformed me and set me on a path that I have continued to follow to this day. Along with many others, I’ve felt overwhelmed in the wake of his death and have sought comfort in his music. This track has astonished me for so many years and it still hits me so hard. The production, the imagination, the lyrics, the craft, the performance, the depth – I defy anyone not to recognise its quality and value.

Irma Thomas – Ruler of My Heart

This must surely be one of the most romantic pieces of music ever created. “Ruler of my heart, lover of my soul, where can you be? I wait patiently.” Say no more.

Ruby Hughes and Joseph Middleton – Abendstern (Schubert) from Nocturnal Variations

Here’s one from the future Mrs O’s debut recording. This entire album is a thing of transcendent beauty and this piece one of many highlights. As the harmony seemingly vacillates between major and minor, you feel transported into the heart of the vulnerability of the human experience. It’s an evocation of loneliness, intimacy and longing handled so delicately and majestically by two of my favourite musicians.

Dave Okumu

The GuardianTramp

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