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還 (Kaeru)

Eki Shola

還 (Kaeru) means "to return home". I’ve felt restless and displaced since emigrating from London as a child. Not really fitting into each community I’ve touched down in, as an immigrant I’ve increasingly wondered where home is for me. I’ve traveled to many countries, however, it is Japan that speaks most to me, validating the strong connection I

還 (Kaeru) means "to return home". I’ve felt restless and displaced since emigrating from London as a child. Not really fitting into each community I’ve touched down in, as an immigrant I’ve increasingly wondered where home is for me. I’ve traveled to many countries, however, it is Japan that speaks most to me, validating the strong connection I felt when first visiting 20 years ago as a medical student. It is therefore not a coincidence that I had the wonderful opportunity to record 還 (Kaeru) with local musicians Uma Ebina, Tatsuya Okabayashi, and Hidenori Tsugita at Tepemok Studio, a former hospital in Ushimado.

Through the journey of composing 還 (Kaeru), the process delivered answers to the exact questions that needed to be asked. 還 (Kaeru) represents the evolution of embracing and honoring what’s known deeply within, the joy of reclaiming authenticity, and how to return home to both within the self and outer world. I have indeed returned home.

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Essential

Eki Shola

After the 2017 Sonoma County wildfires, writing music became a healing necessity for Eki Shola, a musician and physician, and subsequently, she wrote and produced a trilogy album following her 2016 debut album, Final Beginning. The first in the trilogy, Possible, symbolizes a moment characterized by hope and a determination to not give up after

After the 2017 Sonoma County wildfires, writing music became a healing necessity for Eki Shola, a musician and physician, and subsequently, she wrote and produced a trilogy album following her 2016 debut album, Final Beginning. The first in the trilogy, Possible, symbolizes a moment characterized by hope and a determination to not give up after losing so much. The second album, Drift, represents the subsequent period of Eki Shola’s wanting to be cocooned within a movement that was rhythmic, comforting, and healing. The final album, Essential, is inspired by periods of contemplation and embraces newness and self-discovery through the power of voice.

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Drift

Eki Shola

Drift is the second album in the Pieces trilogy of new music created in the aftermath of the tragic November 2017 Sonoma County wildfires. Driving through flames with her family to escape the Tubbs fire, Drift represents the subsequent period of Eki Shola’s wanting to be cocooned within a movement that was rhythmic and comforting. A yearning for

Drift is the second album in the Pieces trilogy of new music created in the aftermath of the tragic November 2017 Sonoma County wildfires. Driving through flames with her family to escape the Tubbs fire, Drift represents the subsequent period of Eki Shola’s wanting to be cocooned within a movement that was rhythmic and comforting. A yearning for what was. Mellow beats to languidly shift and float upon was the respite Eki Shola's body and mind needed. Missing the security of a familiar home had her yearning for the family homes she grew up in, in London and New York. Feeling emotionally displaced, Eki Shola started to write songs that had comforting grooves reminiscent of the chillout downtempo tunes that had her hooked into jazzy electronica back in the early 2000s. More than anything, it was the memories of the feelings of warmth, love, and relaxation evoked from that time that Eki Shola craved and found herself subsequently composing for self-healing.

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Possible

Eki Shola

Pieces is a personal trilogy of new music created in the aftermath of the tragic 2017 Sonoma County Wildfires that destroyed so much and represents improvisation not only musically, but in practice. We lost our home and everything we owned that night, but the fire unlocked something in me, and I found myself compelled to create like never before.

Pieces is a personal trilogy of new music created in the aftermath of the tragic 2017 Sonoma County Wildfires that destroyed so much and represents improvisation not only musically, but in practice. We lost our home and everything we owned that night, but the fire unlocked something in me, and I found myself compelled to create like never before. When everything’s gone, you have nothing left to lose. And the fact that we had nearly died in the fire made the next few months feel like a precious gift. A second chance to create again. A second chance to live.

Music poured out of me, but rather than trying to painstakingly recreate all of the songs I had lost, I decided to experiment instead. With donated instruments and a new laptop, I focused on retrieving snippets of songs I had emailed to friends and family over the last 15+ years, and subsequently reimagined the songs on the album. Chopping fragments up and sampling them, adding second movements with a different feel from the original, turning unintentional “mistakes” into intentional effects. It was all exciting, gratifying, and therapeutic, and a completely different method of composing than I had developed for my debut album, Final Beginning.

In less than a year after the fires I had written enough new material for three albums, and the idea of releasing them as a trilogy was born. Impossible was created first, raw and in the moment, and is steeped in the healing force of just being alive and able to write.

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Final Beginning

Eki Shola

Eki Shola is a musical healer, composing music that allows listeners to relax and ease the daily stressors of life. Her debut album “Final Beginning” mixes ambient piano, syncopated beats, unexpected effects, and jazz organ riffs, compelling listeners to engage with her music in the here and now. As a musical memoir, “Final Beginning” unifies

Eki Shola is a musical healer, composing music that allows listeners to relax and ease the daily stressors of life. Her debut album “Final Beginning” mixes ambient piano, syncopated beats, unexpected effects, and jazz organ riffs, compelling listeners to engage with her music in the here and now. As a musical memoir, “Final Beginning” unifies creative and pragmatic forces with the power of grief, personal challenges for healing, acceptance – and hope. Her creation is a mystical, funky, electro soul journey to which all can emotionally relate. “Final Beginning,” defines Eki Shola as a messenger of inner awareness and reflects her gratitude to a higher and her fellow being.

Eki Shola grew up in a family of healers of both mind and body. Her parents were multi-instrumentalists and her sibling uses his musical talents in his mental health practice. Eki Shola herself began classical piano lessons at the age of 5. In college, she played vibes for the Cornell University Lab Ensemble (CULE) a jazz band; performing with jazz trumpeter Steve Turre and Dr. Donald Byrd under the direction of Dr. Karlton Hester of Hesterian Musicism.

“Final Beginning” draws on diverse and often unpredictable influences including Mary Lou Williams, Rachmaninoff, Robert Glasper, Go Go Penguins, Aphex Twin, Bonobo, and Taylor McFerrin.

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