Ezra Collective – Where I’m Meant To Be (Ltd Edn Orange Marbled Vinyl 2LP)


Mercury Prize Winner, 2023

“Where I’m Meant To Be is a thumping celebration of life, and an affirming elevation in Ezra Collective’s winding hybrid sound and refined collective character. The songs marry cool confidence with bright energy. Full of call-and-response conversations between their ensemble parts, Where I’m Meant To Be is a natural product of years improvising together on-stage. The album — which also features guest artists Sampa The Great, Kojey Radical, Emile Sande and Nao — will light up sweaty dance floors and soundtrack summer dinners in equal measure.

The group — consisting of Femi Koleoso (who also drums for Gorillaz) as drummer and bandleader, Joe Armon-Jones on keys, James Mollison on saxophone, Ife Ogunjobi on trumpet, and Koleoso’s younger brother TJ on bass guitar — originally came together in 2012 as teenagers at the youth band of Tomorrow’s Warriors, a music education initiative at the South Bank Centre in London. They have since shot forward to become architects of a new phase in their city’s musical journey, a hybrid time in which Black genres — jazz, grime, afrobeat and more — can dovetail and harmonize fluidly, at new, forever rising levels.

The fourteen tracks on Where I’m Meant To Be took eighteen months to record. This gear-shift, far from the mere hours and days spent on all previous releases, not only reflects the impact of lockdown life on artistic creation — it is buoyed by the patience gained from slowing down.”

1. Life Goes On
2. Victory Dance
3. No Confusion
4. Welcome To My World
5. Togetherness
6. Ego Killah
7. Smile
8. Live Strong
9. Siesta
10. Words by Steve
11. Belonging
12. Never the Same Again
13. Words by TJ
14. Love In Outer Space

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