*Actor and DJ Idris Elba has released the first single from his album that mixes contemporary pop and R&B with the sound of South Africa.
“You Give Me Love” featuring singer and rapper Maverick Sabre, is the first to be released as part of “Idris Elba Presents: Mi Mandela,” which incorporates both high-profile Western pop acts, from Mumford & Sons to George The Poet; with virtually unheard of South African artists, including the Mahotella Queens and Nothembi Mkhwebane.
The eleven-track record came about following Elba’s role as the late revolutionary Nelson Mandela in 2013’s “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.” His father Winston became another central figure to the development of the album, as he encouraged Elba’s work before he passed away, not long after seeing his son portray Mandela on screen.
“South Africa has numerous different tribes and each one has a musical expression, and each one has a very unique, different sound style,” Elba tells WENN about the creation of “Mi Mandela.” “At the time I had my studio at the apartment I was staying in while I was making Mandela – a little keyboard, a laptop – and as an experiment to myself, I vowed to keep making music.”
Co-writers and co-producers of the album include Mr. Hudson, Atlanta’s Cody ChesnuTT and London’s Shaun Escoffery, as well as South African talent such as Aero Manyelo and the London African Gospel Choir. Recorded in Johannesburg’s Jazzworks Studio as well as in London and Mali, “Mi Mandela” was a passion project on which Elba oversaw every area, from writing to production. Even the artwork is a tribute to his supportive late father.
First single “You Give Me Love” ft. Maverick Sabre will be available for digital download on Nov. 10, with the “Idris Elba Presents: Mi Mandela” to follow on Nov. 24 through Elba’s own label 7wallace and Parlophone Records.