Dave Okumu


Dave met Dr Ronan Astin and described his experience of a massive electric shock on stage in Lagos. It transpired that the reason he was still alive was a due to his lungs, which stopped the shock of electricity from blowing his heart out – his heart continued to beat.

His next encounter was in a pub with Professor Hugh and UCLH heart surgeon Dr Martin Hayward, Cardiothoracic Surgeon. Within minutes of sitting down to talk about the heart, Martin invited Dave to join him in open heart surgery early the following morning – Dave went – was astonished at what he discovered and returned to the studio to make his thoughts and feelings into music.


“When Body Of Songs approached me about this project, I was immediately intrigued. Here was an opportunity to unearth some of the mysteries of the human body and feed my discoveries into a process I cherish dearly: making music. I wanted to learn more about the heart, particularly the relationship between electricity and the heart.

This curiosity was aroused by the experience of receiving a sustained electric shock on stage which resulted in my leg being broken by the force of the electricity earthing. I consider myself very lucky to be alive and I have felt a profound sense of gratitude towards my heart for carrying me through that experience relatively unscathed. Hence the title of my piece of music: Grateful Heart.

This gratitude extends to Body Of Songs, the Wellcome Trust and to Martin Hayward and Hugh Montgomery who granted me a level of access to the information I desired which exceeded my wildest expectations.”