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ESKA - Eska

Distinctive folk music with a trippy twist

Fact title Fact data
Release date
5 April 2015
Label
Naim Edge

Background

Born in Zimbabwe and raised in South London, Eska Mtungwazi’s arresting vocal style has already won fans in Jamie Cullum, who as far back as 2013 was showcasing her “vocal facility that is virtually unmatched”, and Gilles Peterson, who described her as “possibly my favourite singer from the UK”. A multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, producer and guest vocalist on tracks by Zero 7 and The Cinematic Orchestra, ESKA has a breadth of style that eludes easy categorisation.

Her immensely accomplished debut album is a joyful, pitch-perfect exploration of the human voice, recalling at turns the falsetto acrobatics of Prince, the stripped-back soul of Laura Mvula, and the yearningly heartfelt folk of Joni Mitchell.

Previously shortlisted?

No, but did appear on 2004 shortlisted album Upwards by Ty.

What the critics say

"So distinctive and confessional is ESKA's voice that she's created a British pastoral music that defies classification." - Uncut Magazine

"It's a musical realisation that is well overdue, sure, but it's also enchanting and graceful, featuring songcraft that other artists take two or three records to achieve." - The 405

For fans of

Laura Mvula, Joni Mitchell, Minnie Riperton

Clips

Max Reinhardt on ESKA: "it will bring delight into your life"

Max Reinhardt discusses ESKA's Mercury Prize 2015 shortlisted album, Eska

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