In almost a months time Esa will be releasing his debut EP Aweh on Amsterdam-based record label Dekmantel. Esa, who is South African but based in London, drew inspiration from different corners of Africa for this EP, namely South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.
“Blast” has gained the most attention from the upcoming EP, and rightly so, as it’s unlike anything out there today. It was recorded in Uganda when Esa was working on an album there. He crossed paths with Tanzanian vocalist Pendo Zawose and wanted to use her powerful vocals on something different. The actual beat for “Blast” is an extended kwaito track produced by the legendary Cape Town-based NarchBeats, who’s known to create grungy, heavy-set beats.
From the titanic vocals of Pendo to the hard-hitting beat that holds nothing back, “Blast” feels like an adrenaline rush. It’s menacing, and almost hard to process at first. But once you let go and the realisation kicks in of how beautiful and raw it is, a deep appreciation arises for it and everyone who was involved in its creation.
The beat and Pendo’s vocals go head to head and challenge one another. Through this, an astonishing symbiotic relationship is formed, resulting in a track that won’t be easily forgotten, and will have many people asking about Esa, Pendo and NarchBeats.
Once you listen to it, you’ll be surprised to know that it only took one take to record the track. Other tracks on the EP are “Rift Valley” which is influenced by house and “Rent-A- Disc” an upbeat, funky offering.
- Aweh will be released on Dekmantel on 22 May 2017.
Listen to “Blast” below: