Photo | Jason Baldwin

Eki Shola will release Essential, her new album, in August.

After barely escaping the 2017 Sonoma County wildfires, writing music became a healing necessity for Shola, a keyboardist, vocalist, and producer based in California. This period led her to write a trilogy album, beginning with Possible and Drift, both available now, and closing with Essential. The series follows her 2016 debut album, Final Beginning, inspired by the passing of her mother.

Opening and closing with a rhythmic meditation, Essential evolved beyond its original intent to embrace newness and self-discovery through the power of voice. The album envelops you in instrumentals, spoken word, and lyrics that share hope and inspiration inspired by periods of contemplation among movements of climate change, coronavirus pandemic, and Black Lives Matter advocacy. It broadly combines electronica and jazz-soul.

Partial proceeds will be donated to the Freedom Community Clinic serving underserved people of color who live in the Bay Area. Shola will host an album release listening party livestream on August 8, 2020, 7pm PST here.


01. Quiet
02. Roots
03. Incubation
04. Trapped
05. Shattered Boundaries
06. Ignorance Veil
07. Blippity Glip
08. Purchase of Happiness
09. Youth
10. Saturday Jam
11. Blue Light
12. Risk Reward
13. Truth
14. Eco-anxiety
15. Gift of Grief
16. Gift of Grief (remix)
17. Change the System
18. Jazzolation
19. Pause

Essential LP is out digitally on August 8. You can pre-order over at Bandcamp, and stream “Change the System” below.