Kamaal Williams (a.k.a Henry Wu) will release his third solo album on Black Focus.

Stings, which spans 11 tracks, is rooted in the South London jazz scene that birthed him, but “levitates into the impressionist symphonies of Claude Debussy,” we’re told, “and the cosmic realm of futuristic hip-hop and electronic beats.”

The project began during the pandemic when Wu purchased an upright piano. For the first time in his career, the Peckham-bred artist was fully independent. No label or booking agent in his ear. We’re told it’s the product of isolation, reflection, and spirituality.

Its title is partially a play on the strings that vibrate throughout the album. But it’s also an allusion to the difficulties he has overcome in the last several years. To be stung is an unpleasant and unwanted attack. Yet when a wasp stings, it drops to the ground and immediately dies. In a sense, it’s an act of martyrdom, which Williams identified with in terms of his live performances that consumed every ounce of effort and concentration.

It’s also a reference to the struggle that has forged Williams’ identity. After three albums, Wu began to search for the reasons underpinning his desire to continue performing.

The album follows 2018’s The Return and 2020’s Wu Hen. It was recorded in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago over the first months of 2022.

In addition to the album’s main body of work which stays in the orchestral framework, Wu will release three digital singles that are not included in the physical record but expand and inform the world of Stings. Through these pieces we see Williams explore electronics and vocals on new material like lead single “PKKNO” but also versions of key songs from the album, “Magnolia” and “The Last Symphony.”

Born in London and of Taiwanese descent, Wu is he creator and founder of the London-based jazz duo Yussef Kamaal, and the album Black Focus reinstated a new wave of jazz in the United Kingdom. In addition to live instrumentation, Wu also releases electronic music under his given name, Henry Wu.


01. The Last Symphony
02. The Guvna
03. Stings
04. Little River
05. Dogtown
06. Repercussions
07. City Of God
08. Taiwan
09. Ronan
10. Magnolia
11. Magnolia III


02. Magnolia II
03. The Last Symphony / Magnolia (Vocal)

Stings LP is scheduled for September 27 release. Meanwhile, you can stream “PKKNO” in full below and pre-order here.