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Ezra Collective return with energetic new single ‘Ajala’

The band are set to release the follow-up to their Mercury-winning 2022 album ‘Where I’m Meant To Be’ this year.

By Will Richards

Ezra Collective
Ezra Collective (Picture: Temi Adegbayibi)

Ezra Collective have returned with their first new music of 2024 – listen to energetic new single ‘Ajala’ below.

The London-based jazz band are set to release the follow-up to their Mercury Prize-winning 2022 album Where I’m Meant To Be this year.

Discussing the story behind the new song, drummer and bandleader Femi Koleoso said: “Ajala the Traveller is a journalist from Nigeria whose story is really beautiful. He decided that he wanted to travel the whole world on a moped and what ended up happening was his name became slang in Yoruba.”

He added: “‘Ajala travel’ is slang for someone that can’t sit still. It’s the way a lot of people would describe me, but for me it’s also what a great drum beat does, it’s what great music does to me, it means I can’t sit still and I just want to move. Ajala is all about that movement.”

Listen to ‘Ajala’ below.

Later this year, Ezra Collective will head out on a UK headline tour, on which they will become the first UK jazz band to headline London’s Wembley Arena.

Before then, they will debut new music at a special London show at the British Library on May 11, launching the new Beyond the Bassline book and exhibition, celebrating 500 years of Black British music history.

See the November headline tour dates below and buy tickets here from 10am on Friday, May 3.

6 – Birmingham, Institute
7 – Leeds, Project House
8 – Glasgow, Barrowlands
10 – Manchester, Apollo
13 – Bristol, Beacon
15 – London, Wembley Arena