|IDRIS ELBA PRESENTS
‘mi Mandela’ – a celebration of South African music inspired by Nelson Mandela
Out November 24th on 7wallace/Parlophone
Album trailer: http://youtu.be/nBWNYpJivrA
Inspired by his recent role as Nelson Mandela in ‘Long Walk To Freedom’, Emmy nominated, Golden Globe winning actor and DJ Idris Elba has curated, written and produced ‘mi Mandela’, an album of songs which uncovers some of South Africa’s most gifted yet largely undiscovered world music talents. ‘mi Mandela’ will be released on November 24th on 7wallace (Idris’ own imprint) /Parlophone. The first single, ‘You Give Me Love’, features vocals from Maverick Sabre and will be available from November 10th.
The eleven-track album seamlessly blends exuberant South African talent alongside established British artists. The former category includes veteran female vocal harmony group the Mahotella Queens who front the opening track ‘Aero Mathata’; Nothembi Mkhwebane, the Queen of Ndebele Music, who features on her ‘Nothembi Jam’ as well as ‘Home’ which was written by Mumford & Sons; the brass band of the South African collective Future History heighten the atmosphere of several tracks; while the inimitable style of maskandi pioneer Phuzekhemisi is central to ‘Thank You For Freedom’.
In addition to Mumford & Sons, the accompanying British roster includes the album’s co-producer and multi-instrumentalist Mr. Hudson; vocals from Maverick Sabre on ‘You Give Me Love’ and ‘Home’; London-based spoken word / recording artist George The Poet (‘Hold On’, ‘One’); and Mercury Prize / Ivor Novello winner James Blake (‘Nothembi Jam’). Also featured is Atlanta’s neo-soul / funk / R&B creative force Cody ChestnuTT on the track ‘Tree’ and Oklahoma City singer-songwriter Audra Mae provides vocals.
The roots for ‘mi Mandela’ were set when Elba filmed his lead role in ‘Long Walk To Freedom’ during the summer of 2012 and into early 2013. The great Nelson Mandela’s musical interest formed part of Elba’s research and soon the actor was hooked on South Africa’s joyous traditional rhythms.
He recalls: “South Africa has numerous different tribes and each one has a musical expression, and each one has a very unique, different sound style. At the time I had my studio at the apartment I was staying in while I was making Mandela – a little keyboard, a laptop – and as an experiment to myself, I vowed to keep making music.”
Yet later in 2013 it would take the influence of another great man found closer to home to help bring the concept to fruition. Idris showed his dying father Winston the ‘Long Walk To Freedom’ film and exuded enthusiasm for the music that he had discovered. Winston encouraged his son to follow his new passion but wouldn’t live to see the end result following his tragic death that September.
At his funeral, Idris listened to a selection of his father’s favourite music and decided to push ahead with the album project. Two weeks later, Idris had started work on the record in Jazzworks Studio in Johannesburg, with further recording to follow in London and Mali. Idris’ tribute to his late father is also captured with the handwritten letter that features on the album’s cover art.
The first in an innovative series of character-driven projects in which Elba further explores his acting roles within the world of music, ‘mi Mandela’ is a fitting tribute to Nelson Mandela, Winston Elba and the long and glorious tradition of South African music.
For further press information please contact Andy Prevezer at Warner Bros. Records on 020 7368 3550 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Preview YouTube video Idris Elba presents... mi Mandela