Ezra Collective – Ajala

Ezra Collective, recently honored as the 2023 Mercury Music Prize winner, launched their latest single “Ajala,” marking their first release of the year. The track, now available via Partisan Records, heralds a new chapter for the band, leading into an eagerly awaited forthcoming album. “Ajala” draws its inspiration from Olabisi Ajala, a renowned Ghanaian-Nigerian explorer known for his extensive travels across 87 countries on a scooter.

Femi Koleoso, the band’s drummer, shared his connection with the track: “’Ajala the Traveller’ is a journalist from Nigeria whose story is really beautiful. He wanted to see the world on a moped and became synonymous with adventure, turning his name into slang in Yoruba. In a way, that’s what great music and beats do to me – they make it impossible to sit still. This song is all about that instinctive movement, that unstoppable desire to go places.”

In a sonic expedition that spans continents and cultures, Ezra Collective infuses jazz with an electrifying energy that ignites the soul. From the infectious beat of rhythmic drums to the exuberant harmony of saxophone and trumpet, every note resonates with the joy of musical discovery.

Inspired by the intrepid spirit of Olabisi Ajala, drummer Femi Koleoso reflects on the essence of the track, stating, “This song is all about that instinctive movement, that unstoppable desire to go places.” Just as Ajala’s name became synonymous with adventure, “Ajala” embodies the thrill of exploration and the boundless curiosity that drives humanity forward.

For Ezra Collective, “Ajala” marks not only a musical milestone but also a testament to their meteoric rise in the music industry. Following their historic Mercury Prize win and sold-out tours across the globe, the band continues to captivate audiences with their electrifying performances and genre-defying sound.

With “Ajala,” Ezra Collective celebrates the rich tapestry of Black British music, blending traditional jazz elements with contemporary influences to create a sound that transcends borders and genres. From Tony Allen-inspired drumming to soul-stirring horns, the track pays homage to the diverse heritage of its creators while forging new sonic frontiers.

As Ezra Collective prepares to make history as the first UK jazz act to headline London’s iconic OVO Arena Wembley, “Ajala” serves as a fitting anthem for their groundbreaking journey. With its infectious rhythm and uplifting melody, the track embodies the spirit of resilience and determination that defines their artistic vision.

In a world where music knows no bounds, Ezra Collective invites listeners on a musical pilgrimage with “Ajala.” With each beat, each riff, they beckon us to join them on a journey of discovery, where the destination is as exhilarating as the voyage itself. As we surrender to the irresistible groove of “Ajala,” we become voyagers of sound, united in the universal language of music.