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Possessing one of the best and most memorable voices in the UK right now, ESKA weaves together diverse musical elements - hints of folk, soul, psychedelica and electronica can all be heard on Gatekeeper - and pairs them with stirring lyrics.
ESKA's music has already created a buzz; receiving strong radio support from the likes of Gilles Peterson and Lauren Laverne,BBC 6 Music and Jamie Cullum, BBC Radio 2.
'ESKA Mtungwazi's resume to date barely scratches the surface of her talent. She has guested with Cinematic Orchestra, sings backing vocals for The Invisible and has replaced Sia as Zero 7's go-to singer, but the Zimbabwe-born singer and multi-instrumentalist also has the musical elasticity that made Laura Mvula a star... ESKA mixes her soul with jazz and folk, traditional forms she renders modern by refusing to let them rest. Her voice can skip and swoop like Joni Mitchell... After almost a decade in the shadows, ESKA is ready to take her place in the spotlight. 4*'Steve Yates Q Magazine
ESKA released her debut album in April 2015.
'In my opinion she is the finest female vocalist in the UK...it will be an honour to share the stage with her' Laura Mvula
Q&A with ESKA
How would you describe your musical journey so far?
It's been an epic journey of self-discovery; learning to trust my creative instincts in every aspect and now learning to be an 'artist' alongside being a 'musician'.
Which songs in particular do you enjoy performing?
I enjoy performing all of my songs. Each live performance is a rebirth of the material where the song gets shaped as much by the audience and the space as by me and the band. You can't anticipate where and how a song is going to work best. That element of risk is what has kept me addicted to performing.
What can fans expect from your upcoming album/tour?
From the album, you can expect to hear a body of work capturing a creative moment in time. From the live experience, I hope to express that material as I am now so expect some spontaneity.
Who has influenced you and your music?
I was listening to a whole bunch of albums during the making of my debut album but it's also been greatly shaped by the players on the record. They've been the biggest influence in the sound of my songs, for sure. It's worth getting the CD version just to have all the liner notes and to get a sense of the personnel involved in the creation of each track.
Who would you love to collaborate with?
I would love to collaborate in the visual world. I adore the work of Mike Leigh.
What message do you want to send out to fans with your music?
The music is a kaleidoscope of sounds, textures and emotions so it's unlikely to be fathomed in just one listen . It's a reflection of my humanity. I really hope people find something of themselves in the music, over time.
Thank you to
Core programme and
major capital funders
The John S
With thanks to
Walker Morris LLP.
Joanne Collumbine and Keith Gillespie; Noreen Kershaw;
Mark Potter; Ian Warburton.