Eki Shola

還 (Kaeru) (JellyFish)

Eki Shola’s music is “Half-time electronic soul for the mind” – Resident Advisor. Featured on PBS, NPR Tiny Desk Contest, KQED and Best of the Bay Editors’ Pick, Eki Shola’s music transcends genre, as she seamlessly draws from jazz, electronica, and soul music to create a sonic landscape all her own. A vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, and practicing physician, Eki Shola uses her music as a conduit for healing.

Born in London to Jamaican parents, Eki Shola was raised in a musical family. She emigrated to the U.S. in ’87 and later as a pre-med student at Cornell, she performed in the jazz ensemble under the direction of Dr. Karlton Hester. In 2016, fueled by grief, she was inspired to release her debut album, Final Beginning. Subsequently, after a traumatic escape from the Sonoma County October 2017 wildfires, Eki Shola was further moved to focus more on her music and she composed Pieces, a trilogy, each album portraying a particular stage of reflection and healing. Possible (11/11/19 release) symbolizes a moment characterized by hope and a determination to not give up after losing so much. Drift (2/2/20 release) represents the subsequent period of wanting to be cocooned within a movement that was comforting, and healing. The recently released Essential (9/9/20 release) envelops you in instrumentals, spoken word, and lyrics that share hope, inspired by periods of contemplation among movements of climate change, coronavirus pandemic, and Black Lives Matter advocacy.

ASCAP Plus winner and selected “23 people to watch in 2023″ by the Press Democrat, Eki Shola has shared the stage with Dr. Donald Byrd, Steve Turre and more and and has opened for various artists including Habib Koité, Bebel Gilberto, DakhaBrakha, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Lucky Otis, Sammy J and Kitaro. Eki Shola completed her Essential Virtual Tour in 2021, performing and giving talks across the world. The five-time NorBay Music awardee was selected to participate in the OBRAS foundation, Portugal artist residency and recently completed a Japan tour including a performance at Kyotophonie Borderless Music Festival for her 5th solo album, 還 (Kaeru), recorded with local artists drummer Hidenori Tsugita, shamisen and shakuhachi musician, Uma Ebina, and Mongolian Morin Khuur musician, Tatsuya Okabayashi.

“Soulful voice of Eki Shola swirls around playful drum machines and catchy bass hooks” Rebecca Gaskell, BBC Radio 3

“… a wide assortment of moods, visions and expressions that are completely original, well crafted … reflects an original and comfortable spirit with a fresh vision.” ~ Karlton Hester, UCSC, Musical Director of Hesterian Musicism

“I can’t really convey how magical this music is… It’s an amazing fusion of electronics, hip-hop, jazz, & ethnic rhythms with deep soul.” Tom McCarter, KZSU Stanford

“Her enforced isolation is reclaimed as a “perfect storm for creating” – a bold assertion were it not for the sheer volume of material offered up on “Essential”. Following two albums in 2019 with a project which clocks in at over 80 minutes is impressive enough, before you realise that as well as performing all the instruments on record, Shola produced, mixed, and mastered every single one of the album’s nineteen tracks.” Threads Radio, UK

“… a qualified physician, Shola has poured just as much of herself into her music as evidenced on current release, ‘還 (Kaeru)’, which credits the artist’s boundless talents throughout the album to vocals, cello, keyboard, piano, synth bass, electronics, composition, production, mixing and mastering.  It’s a project that builds masterfully upon past successes with Eki Shola’s explorations taking not just a creative leap for this release but a geographic one as well.  Recorded in Japan alongside musicians Hidenori Tsugita (drums), Tatsuya Okabayashi (Mongolian Morin Khuur) and Uma Ebina (Shamisen and shakuhachi), the combination of cultural styles breeds sensational results and provides an incredible new aesthetic to anything we’ve heard Eki Shola bless previously.” Blue-in-Green Radio, UK

Recent Press:
🇯🇵 Japan: October 2023 Kyotophonie https://www.elle.com/jp/culture/travel/g45476258/travel-artfes-japan-231008/
🇬🇧 UK: October 2023 album review https://www.blueingreenradio.com/2023/10/kaeru-by-eki-shola.html
🇺🇸 US: Japan tour https://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/entertainment/santa-rosas-eki-shola-records-tours-in-japan/?fbclid=IwAR3QIdg7fYjh8yz2pw_M1ppFbhHbMdNVxegc_c5Rvvalm0-sYu0YB79-pAA&artslide=0

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