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ESA WILLIAMS Amandla: Music For The People

This summer, Soundway Records will release Esa Presents Amandla: Music To The People, a double vinyl electronic music compilation by DJ and producer Esa Williams. Growing up in Cape Town, South Africa, during the last days of Apartheid, Esa recalls the immense power that music had in resisting oppression and division. “Amandla, Awethu”, which literally means “the power is ours”, was an ubiquitous chant echoing throughout the politically charged atmosphere of the time – a call to unite, and a call from which this release derives not only its title, but its intention as well. “Music was a crucial way of bringing people and communities together”, reflects Esa, “and it’s what I hope to achieve with this compilation, too”. For Esa Williams is not only a musical polymath but also passionate about connecting people through music. A skilled DJ, producer and educator, Esa has found ways of bringing people together and enhancing the talent present - from being a band leader, reigniting the legendary Ata Kak band from Ghana, or a collaborator with the likes of Tanzanian artist Mim Suleiman, to focusing his energy on electronic music-focused educational programmes in Cuba, Brazil, and East & South Africa The result is a rainbow of complementary electronic styles hailing from not only South Africa but further afield, including zouk from Brazil and the French Antilles, as well as Afro-futurism and Bacardi House. Together, they form a comprehensive picture that connects the dots of Esa’s musical journey – from growing up in South Africa, to artists he has encountered in his worldwide travels who have helped develop his identity as a musician.
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