Eska nominated for Mercury Prize 2015
When ESKA’s self-titled debut album was released in April 2015 on Naim Edge Records, the BBC Radio 6Music tastemaker Gilles Peterson proclaimed ESKA “the finest UK singer”, The Guardian dubbed her “enchanting… inventive” and The Independent called her “one of the most idiosyncratic and original talents”. The Zimbabwe-born, London-raised musician and songwriter took five years to make her album – “a mind-bending gem” (The Observer) – but it was worth the wait.
Speaking to Lauren Laverne on BBC Radio 6 Music today (16/10/15), on the announcement of her Mercury Prize nomination, Eska admitted to having “butterflies in the stomach” going on to say “It is really overwhelming actually and it’s a wonderful feeling.” Talking about the recording process Eska told Lauren it “was really exciting, really thrilling, but also challenging and scary!”
A singer whose unique voice has adorned the albums of such original acts as Nitin Sawhney, Courtney Pine and Tony Allen, ESKA’s been in high demand in recent years. But her own music is something else; imagine the psyche soul of Minnie Riperton, unexpected, whimsical melodic twists of Kate Bush and ornate detail of folk legends Pentangle arranged in an intoxicating meld, and you’re only getting close. ESKA has been compared to Joni Mitchell, earned plaudits from influential radio DJs Lauren Laverne and Don Letts, performed live sessions for Radio X and Radio 3’s Late Junction, and had everyone from The Times to hip dance music site Boiler Room in a lather.
ESKA made headlines with an electrifying performance at Rick Owens’ controversial Paris Fashion Week show. With the album now ready to drop in Europe, she’s about to set the continent aflame too, with unmissable live dates at Salzburg, Austria’s Jazz & the City event on 25thOctober and at The Hague, Holland’s prestigious Crossing Border festival on 14th November.
In the UK she’s set to play Liverpool’s new Soul Fest on 24th October, the Midlands Arts Centre in Birmingham on 18th November, and at Milton Keynes’ The Stables on 26th November, before a triumphant London return within the majestic environs of the Islington Assembly Hall (27th), and a spotlight show at Norwich Arts Centre (28th). It’s a chance to see this celestial talent where she excels: in the live domain. Time to discover just why ESKA has been getting so much attention…
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LIVE DATES 2015/2016
24th October Liverpool Soul Fest, Liverpool, UK
25th October Jazz & The City, Salzburg, Austria
30th October Periferias 2015, Huesca, Spain
14th November Crossing Border Festival, The Hague, Holland
18th November Midlands Art Centre, Birmingham, UK
26th November The Stables, Milton Keynes, UK
27th November Islington Assembly Hall, London, UK
28th November Norwich Arts Centre, Norwich, UK
23rd January 2016 Turner Sims Concert Hall, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK