Anam Owili-Eger

Anam Owili-Eger

 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
BandAlternativeR&B

Stevie's soul. Tori's honesty. Gil's fire. Bjork's fearlessness. A sound all his own.

Biography

"Anam Owili-Eger is way up there with the new school of multi-talented Philly singer songwriters."
-- Straight No Chaser Magazine (London, UK)

Growing up with a charismatic, hard-drinking grandfather and an insightful yet mentally unbalanced grandmother who (somewhat illegally) home schooled him until he was nine, Anam Owili-Eger dreamed of becoming an astronomer. Instead, he evolved into a "jazz-soul dreamboat" (A.D. Amorosi, Philadelphia City Paper) whose musings on everything from loneliness and love to paranoia and politics have led to acclaim as "one of the best new songwriters of the past 10 years" (Tim Dillinger, Stave Magazine).

Defying genres at every turn, Anam's edgy, adventurous and thought-provoking alternative soul music calls to mind such diverse artists as Stevie Wonder, Tori Amos, Gil Scott-Heron and Bjork.

"Playing it safe by doing the same thing over and over is creative suicide," says Anam. "So I suppose in that sense, I've decided not to kill myself."

Armed with both "a pure, soulful voice that immediately resonates" (Lior Shamir, Singer/Songwriter Awards) and an idiosyncratic approach to the piano, London's heralded Straight No Chaser magazine lauded Anam's music in their Spring 2007 issue.

Born in State College, PA and raised in Philadelphia, Anam Owili-Eger (pronounced uh-NAHM oh-WEE-lee ee-GAIR) discovered a wide variety of music at an early age: the jazz of the 1940s and 50s, the folk, rock and soul of the 60s and 70s, the classical music of times past, and the pop music of his generation.

After fronting and writing songs for Blue Scheme, a jazz-rock band that he co-founded a few years after college, Anam realized he missed playing piano on his own songs and decided to pursue a solo project. In 2006, Anam independently released his debut solo EP, These Subtle Declarations, to critical acclaim.

Anam’s song, “The Moment,” was included on the recent “absolute!! Sounds from Tokyo” compilation on the Unique Uncut label. It was subsequently featured on several programs, including Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide International program, BBC Radio 1xtra, and Toronto’s Higher Ground program, which named it a top song of 2008.

Recently returning from a brief tour of Switzerland, he is concurrently working on both his first full-length album as a solo artist and an EP of a solo side project, both scheduled for release during the summer of 2009.

Anam's music has appeared on a number of terrestrial radio shows and podcasts including:
Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide International
BBC Radio 1xtra
Higher Ground, 89.5 FM CIUT (Toronto, CA)
The Goods, 90.3 FM CKUT (Montreal, CA)
Beyondjazz.net (Belgium)
Novaplanet, Rodon 95FM (Greece)
George FM (New Zealand)
Off Limits (featured on the Giant Step label's online jukebox)
Out the Box (UK)
MoveOnUp (Norway)
South China Morning Post Online

Lyrics

The Moment

Written By: Anam Owili-Eger

I could try to impress you
But I'd only trip over my own words
I could try to explain why I'm the one for you
But it wouldn't be something you haven't heard
I could try to win you over
But where to start, I haven't got a clue
So now I just want to let my soul be true
And bask in the glowing glory of you

Nothing could be sweeter than the moment
Nothing could be purer than this
Time in space with you
Nothing could be sweeter than this
Nothing
No one made my soul soar over mountains
No one made me feel this way until you came along
And I swear nothing could be sweeter than this
Nothing

I always wanted to be stronger
But I never put in enough time
I always wanted to be richer
But my dollars always turn to dimes
I always wanted to be smarter
But everything I learned just passed on through
But now I just want to let my soul be true
And bask in the glowing glory of you

Nothing could be sweeter than the moment
Nothing could be purer than this
Time in space with you
Nothing could be sweeter than this
Nothing
No one made my heart feel like a feather
Or like dewdrops kissing the leaves as the sun sends night away
And I swear nothing could be sweeter than this
Nothing

Nothing could be sweeter than this
Nothing could be better than this time
Nothing could be as lovely as your voice
Like a curling breeze through angels' chimes
Nothing could be sweeter than this
Nothing could be better than these feelings so new
I just want to let my soul be true
And bask in the glowing glory of you

Nothing could be sweeter than the moment
Nothing could be purer than this
Time in space with you
Nothing could be sweeter than this
Nothing

The Crying Shame

Written By: Anam Owili-Eger

You never need a reason to get a rise up outta me
All you do is tap into my fundamental fear
All I need is a suitcase, toothbrush, pair of shades
Both of my able legs and the will to get outta here

But through the crying shame of it all,
I'll be right there,
In spite of myself, I'll be by your side
In the crying shame of it all, I'll be right there
I might be crazy but I'll be by your side

So now I'm free,
strutting unfettered down the street,
The world disappears and the only song in my head is the rhythm of my two feet
Something comes over me
and all I can think of is you
First the good, then the bad, then everything we had and the hell we put each other through
And now I'm smiling like a devil
who just found out he is holy
And I'm weeping like an angel
who just fell off her cloud
My emotions don't make much sense
when I ain't got much sense to begin with
To endure the tribulation,
Girl, you know I ain't that proud

'cause here's this crying shame, and through it all, I'll be right there
In spite of myself, I'll be by your side
In the crying shame of it all, I'll be right there
I might be crazy but I'll be by your side

I'll come to your aid
Just like the cavalry
In those black-and-white movies
that we used to see
Before our time, they were a dime
It used to be sublime
But today it's just a crime
And regardless
Of whether it's the right thing to do
All I want to do, babe, is comfort you
'cause plainly it pains me
To see you suffering

Am I a fool for loving you? Am I just a fool for love?
Yesterday I walked away, today I'm running back
Something deep inside of me
must be a glutton for punishment
'cause the moment that I rebuild my wall is the moment it starts to crack

It's a crying shame that through it all,
we're both right here,
I'm in front of you outside your open door
It's a crying shame that through it all,
we give in to this fear
Of being lonely forever more
It's a crying shame that through it all,
we know there's an end
But we don't know or we don't care when
It's a crying shame that through it all
The jury's out until the sun comes up again
The jury's out until the sun comes up again
The jury's out until the sun comes up again
Until the sun comes up again
Until the sun comes up again
Until the sun comes up again
The jury's out until the sun comes up again

The Coin

Written By: Anam Owili-Eger

Scanning the horizon
We saw six of the unwanted ones
They raised a flag of friendship
And I wanted no part of it
So I said, "Close the gate."
And you asked, "Close the gate?"
And I said, "You'd better close that gate!"
You closed the gate and they were gone.
Gone from our sight.
Anti-immortalized, quarantined and sanitized.
Entrapped within the web of night.

I feel my luck is turning for the worse
Everything I've told to stay the same
just won't agree
I feel I'll be betrayed by the universe
But if so, I'll have to know that I had it coming to me

Now I'm on the horizon
Now I'm one of the unwanted ones
I raised a flag of friendship
And you wanted no part of it
So I said, "Raise the gate."
And you asked, "Why should I raise this gate?"
And I said, "I don't belong here—raise the gate!"
You closed your eyes and I was gone.
Gone from your sight.
This isolation forces me to try
to flee much like a butterfly
Entrapped within the web of night.

I feel my luck is turning for the worse
Everything I've told to stay the same
just won't agree
I feel I'll be betrayed by the universe
But if so, I'll have to know that I had it coming to me

I'm one of millions on this horizon
One of millions you'll never see
Trapped in between a pair of foolish fallacies
We suffer within anonymity
You offered one chance to earn asylum
In a game you said that you alone would choose
One flip of a coin that I would call in the air

Heads you win, tails I lose
Heads you win, tails I lose
Heads you win, tails I lose
Heads you win, tails I lose

Butterfly Nets

Written By: Anam Owili-Eger

I met you in an alley, you were choking on a cigarette
Looked into your shining eyes dismissing every slight regret
Slender as a minaret, piercing the cerulean skies
I let you learn my secrets before I could wear my grim disguise

99 percent of the time you think I feel fine
But you don't know the half of what is running through this head of mine
I can't find my way through my head, I feel my heart fall into the sea,
I think you ought to watch where you tread, unless you want to lose yourself with me

We were falling into madness as I rose into my hidden skin
You knew this day would come and made me promise that I'd let you in
But one day much to your chagrin, my disposition soon succumbed
To all the days of shades of gray and feelings I'd been running from

99 percent of the time you think I feel fine
But you don't know the half of what is running through this head of mine
I can't find my way through my head, I feel my heart fall into the sea,
I think you ought to watch where you tread, unless you want to lose yourself with me
So I invite you to crawl inside my head, don't worry it's safe--I'm not medicated yet
I hope you find some solace there, before they come and take us away with butterfly nets
The men in white coats come and take us away with butterfly nets

When the dark star's calling, my heart will start beating so fast
And the mercury keeps on falling until my last breath has passed
Oh, that dark star keeps on calling and my heart will start beating so fast
And that mercury will keep on falling until my last breath has passed

99 percent of the time you think I feel fine
But you don't know the half of what is running through this head of mine
Like what if I had a ticket to Baghdad, I think about the last thought that my granddad had
I miss my grandmother so much and so bad, I wonder if one day like her I'll go mad
I can't find my way through my head, I feel my heart fall into the sea,
I think you ought to watch where you tread, unless you want to lose yourself with me
So I invite you to crawl inside my head, don't worry it's safe--I'm not medicated yet
I hope you find some solace there, before they come and take us away with butterfly nets
The men in white coats come and take us away with butterfly nets...
The men in white coats come and take us away, come and take us away, come and take us away

Every single fear that you ever had and terrors that you never knew
Uprooted every single dream that you ever hoped would one day come true
So I say...
Na na na na...oh oh. Na na na na...oh oh.

I don't need anything anymore, I don't want anything anymore, I don't know anything anymore
Why don't you love me anymore?
I don't need anything anymore, I don't want anything anymore, I don't know anything anymore
Anything anymore except:
Don't worry it's safe--I'm not medicated yet
Come on in, come on in, come and crawl inside my head
Don't worry it's safe--I'm not medicated yet
Not yet

Some Say It's Bliss

Written By: Anam Owili-Eger

Wait until you try to find the truth
See what you think when you think you know
What's going on.
What is going on?

Where is all our credibility?
I tried to figure out what I could do to make it all a little better
But I got so tired
That's what they wanted
I got so tired
That's what they wanted
They wanted us to fall asleep

And never wonder what was going on
And never wonder what was going on

Wait until you try to find the lies
See what you think when you think you know
What's going on.
What is going on?

Where is all our love and empathy?
I tried to figure out what I could do to make it all a little better
But I got so tired
That's what they wanted
I got so tired
That's what they wanted
They wanted us to fall asleep
Fall asleep, fall asleep

And never wonder what was going on
And never wonder what was going on
And never wonder what was going on
And never wonder what was going on
Some say it's bliss to never wonder what is going on

Discography

These Subtle Declarations (EP), February 2006.
absolute!! Sounds from Tokyo -- "The Moment" (CD, compilation of various artists), November 2008.

Set List

Enough original material for roughly three hours (with occasional covers thrown in).

Original material includes:
The Moment**
The Crying Shame**
Some Say It's Bliss**
Butterfly Nets**
Reason to Be
Day of Knowing
Poor Icarus
The Coin
The Anonymities
Like Yesterday
Calamity Jane
Interrobang

** included in epk