Ezra Collective release new single, ‘Ajala’: Listen

Ezra Collective release new single, ‘Ajala’: Listen

Ezra Collective have returned with a new single, ‘Ajala’. Stream it below.

It marks the first single of the year from the winners of the 2023 Mercury Music Prize. Fusing jazz, dub, funk and grime, ‘Where I’m Meant To Be’ scooped the prestigious album prize in September last year.

Released via Partisan Records, ‘Ajala’ – which incorporates elements of Afrobeat and Highlife with jazz – is the first sample of the third studio album from the London quintet, which they say is “on the horizon.”

Offering some background on ‘Ajala,’ drummer and bandleader Femi Koleoso revealed: “Ajala the Traveller is a journalist from Nigeria whose story is really beautiful. He decided that he wanted to travel the whole world on a moped and what ended up happening was his name became slang in Yoruba.

“‘Ajala travel’ is slang for someone that can’t sit still,” continued Koleoso. “It’s the way a lot of people would describe me, but for me it’s also what a great drum beat does, it’s what great music does to me, it means I can’t sit still and I just want to move. Ajala is all about that movement.’ 

Marking the release, the band have also announced an upcoming tour in October and November. Among the dates is a show at London’s OVO Arena Wembley on November 15th – an appearance that will see Ezra Collective become the first UK jazz act to headline the venue.

Comprising of Femi Koleoso on drums, TJ Koleoso on bass, Joe-Armon Jones on keys, James Mollison on saxophone and Ife Ogunjobi on trumpet, Ezra Collective met at the London-based music education programme, Tomorrow’s Warriors.

‘Where I’m Meant To Be’ debuted at No 1 on the UK Jazz and Blues chart and features contributions from Kojey Radical, Emeli Sandé, Nao and Sampa The Great, the latter of whom appears on lead track ‘Life Goes On’.

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