It’s been a decade since Nigerian-born, London-based progressive R&B singer Azakel burst onto the scene, earning praise from the one and only Prince (RIP). He collaborated with heavyweights Massive Attack on the lead single of their 2016 ep, Ritual Spirit. And he worked with Gorillaz, on their album Humanz in 2017. His début ep, Raw, Vol. 1, came out in 2015, followed by Raw, Vol. 2 the following year. And his début full-length, Our Father, came out in 2018, earning all manners of praise from the likes of CLASH and Vice, amongst others.
He returns here with a new single, ‘Crescent Moons,’ and, I gotta say, this, kids, is the shit. Built up around a big boom-bap beat, Azekel’s honey-laced voice slides over the beat. The track is, he says, visceral, as he reflects on a disintegrating relationship and his creative process. Lyrically, I find myself listening over and over, as I am fascinated by the interplay of his personal and creative life.
Of course, this how most artists work, we draw upon our personal lives, and we meld those experiences into our creative experience, but here Azakel lays it bare for us. I really cannot stop listening to this joint.
‘Crescent Moons’ is out on Thursday, 7 May. Go check it out.