Merging traditional sounds with wildly futuristic, high-octane club workouts and intricate Afrocentric percussion, Nkisi’s fusion of distinct styles and themes is explored in depth on her debut album ‘7 Directions’, which lands in January via cult experimentalist Lee Gamble’s UIQ imprint. “Lee heard my music and reached out to me, and I was actually already shaping this project,” she says. “It was just the right moment, and it was really nice to have him and the team be really into the idea and the concept.”
The seven-track album is dedicated to the late academic and author of African Cosmology of the Bantu-Kongo, Dr Kimbwandende Kia Bunseki Fu-Kiau. “He’s one of the few scholars who wrote about other systems of thought outside more Eurocentric ways of viewing the world,” she explains.
But ‘7 Directions’ feels like fresh territory even for Nkisi, as she engages with her fascination with philosophy. “The most important direction for self-healing is the walk inwards,” she says; the spiritual concept of a ‘seven direction walk’ inspired the album’s title. “I feel like this album really forced me to do that, and I feel like a changed person.”
‘7 Directions’ is out January 19 via UIQ
Jasmine Kent-Smith is Mixmag's Weekend Editor. Follow her on Twitter