AMAI KUDA ET LES BOIS RELEASES EMURGENCY! ON VINYL TODAY
PURCHASE HERE AND AT LOCAL RECORD STORES ACROSS CANADA
ALBUM SET FOR DIGITAL RELEASE FALL 2021
SUPPORT AMAI KUDA ET LES BOIS’ SANKOFA MAROON VILLAGE INITIATIVE HERE
Toronto, ON – May 28, 2021 – Today, Toronto-based group and movement, Amai Kuda et Les Bois, launches the exclusive vinyl release of their album, EmUrgency! Led by Toronto artist and community organizer, Amai, EmUrgency! is a sonic challenge to the music industry and to our society at large to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. Inspired by Amai’s journey as a queer woman of African descent working to reclaim her power and support marginalized communities in doing the same,
the project is an unapologetic demand for the voices and stories of those long ignored to finally be heard.
The collective listening journey begins today as audiences can experience the music in an analog format first, while a digital version of the project with accompanying visual materials will be released from the summer into fall.
Order a copy of EmUrgency! here and see a list of national retailers below to support your local record store.
EmUrgency! was recorded, mixed and mastered at Quantum Vox Music with co-producer, Jimmy Kiddo, and reflects Amai’s vast influences: Afrohouse, alternative neo-Motown, a blend of alt rock, hip hop and downtempo, with inflections of Amai’s Trinidadian heritage and Toronto upbringing in the mix. The album’s first single, Ecouché, arrived in April as a form of sonic magic – a spell for healing of the waters – channeled and sung entirely in a language of ancestral communication, it can never be performed the same way twice. Listen to it here.
The album speaks to the struggles, wisdoms, and joys of Amai’s journey, being guided by ancestors and Orishas, and staying true to her calling as mother, healer, warrior and artist, despite the many obstacles facing Black, queer women in the music industry and society at large. On the songs, Amai delves into African Indigenous spiritual traditions, connecting with gods and deities of Yoruba cosmology, the anti-colonial war for survival, unconditional love, honouring elders, as well as the inner child and how to preserve it in times of struggle.
Amai’s initiative, the Sankofa Maroon Village, is raising funds (see GoFundMe page) to establish the first Black eco-village in Canada – complete with a centre for African cultural education and nature-based healing activities as well as an organic farm to promote Black food sovereignty. You can find out more and support this powerful project here.
Learn more about Amai Kuda et Les Bois below and stay connected as we experience this EmUgency! together over the coming months.
1.Sewing Seeds (Opening Prayer)
2. Which Way
3. Listen Child
5. Mother's Home
6. Warriors Gather (Prayer)
8. Love Song
11. Granny Gets the Last Word (Closing Prayer)
Buy/order your copy of EmUrgency! on vinyl here
EmUrgency! is available at these national retailers:
Toronto, ON: Mike’s Music, Chronic Pain Records, Flipping Vintage, Ani Rock, Bay Bloor Radio, Bay Street Video, Creats, Extended Play, Jeremy Nusinowitz, Luke’s Records, Press Vinyl Café, Resolute Records, Dead Dog Records (all locations), Play De Record, Pop Music
Vancouver, BC: Dandelion Records, Greenhorn Café, Hit Man Records
Montreal, QC: Musicotheque, Sonik, Centre Hi Fi, Cheap Thrills, Le Vacarme, Bbam! Gallery, Toy Wars.
About Amai Kuda et Les Bois
Amai Kuda et Les Bois don’t fit into the usual boxes. Breaking boundaries is part of their superpower. Not a band or a solo act, they prefer to call themselves ‘a movement.’ Led by Amai Kuda, their shows and albums always begin with the pouring of libations and the invocation of ancestors. This spiritual element weaves its way throughout all their music, whether that be soothing acoustic ballads, dancy electronic grooves or alt-rock-hip-hop-infused political tracks. Ecouché, for example, the “stunning new single” (Indie88) off the new album EmUrgency! is sung entirely in a language of ancestral communication and can’t be delivered the same way twice. It embodies what NOW magazine has called the group’s “tantalizing Afro-soul” fusion sound, "earthy and rootsy and good for your ears" (Errol Nazareth CBC in reference to AfroSoul Volume II: MaZai). Indeed, it is the genre-defying nature of their work which led their debut album, Sand from the Sea, to be named “one of the year's most exciting discoveries” (Nicholas Jennings - Canada's foremost music journalist).
Since that early accolade Amai Kuda et Les Bois have slogged away in Toronto’s music scene, performing at venues like the Jane Mallett Theatre, Harbourfront, The Rivoli, and festivals such as Luminato, Kultrun, and Small World, as well as at venues and community centres on four continents. Amai Kuda et Les Bois have certainly paid their dues, and they haven’t gone unnoticed. They’ve been featured in NOW magazine and on CBC’s Canada Live and Big City Small World, while a single from their 2019 release with Version Xcursion, Holding Back, premiered on Strombo Show. The group also won the Best Folk/Roots award as well as placing second for the Best Song at the Toronto Independent Music Awards. They’ve opened for Joel Plaskett, Kellylee Evans and Sarah Slean, and collaborated with M1 of the legendary Hip-Hop duo, Dead Prez on a call-to-action song called We Can Do It.
All that said, the group is acutely aware of, and quite angered by, the glass ceiling in the music industry that keeps artists like themselves from reaching wider audiences. Their new album, EmUrgency! is largely about pushing back against this, and in the coverage it’s received thus far (The Strombo Show, CTV National News, RX Music Live, UMFM and CJRU), they’ve made a point of talking about it. For Amai Kuda et Les Bois, music is about healing - ourselves, our society and the earth, and that can’t happen unless we listen to the voices that have for too long been ignored. It is truly a ‘listening EmUrgency!’