‘Evade And Seek: the EPilogue‘ is the companion EP to Essa‘s recent album ‘The Misadventures Of A Middle Man‘. Featuring two all-new tracks plus alternate versions of some favourites from the album, it reminds us why Essa is one of the UK’s most versatile MCs. ‘LeLeLe‘ is a club-ready, punchline-heavy beast produced by Flako. The sparse, bassfuelled beat is the perfect backdrop for Kashmere (Strange U) and Essa’s flawless bars.
‘Evade And Seek‘ is produced by Tall Black Guy (with a little help from UK legend Kaidi Tatham of Bugz in the Attic) with Essa and rising star Brotherman capturing the essence of London life. On ‘Still Life‘ Essa and Devise take inspiration from the world passing by their window in a poignant, poetic snapshot of everyday life.
The EP is rounded out with two live versions of favourites from the album. ‘Harder‘, from the album launch show at The Jazz Café and an acoustic version of ‘The Middle Man‘ from an intimate set at the fast-rising pop-up event Sofar Sounds. Essa will be performing these and other tracks at The Book Club, London on April 2nd as part of First Word’s ‘In The Basement‘ event.
Release Date: 2nd March 2015
Cat No: FW132
See below for a detailed track-by-track breakdown from Essa…
LeLeLe ft. Kashmere (Strange U) produced by Flako
The Misadventures of a Middle Man album was very personal and tackled some pretty weighty subject matter (race, class, religion …). This track is a way of balancing that out with something a little more easy-going. It’s just bass, beats and bars. Flako is probably the most exciting emerging producer around so I was thrilled to work with him. And as for Kashmere, like he says on the track, we’ve been “cool since the Low Life days”. I’m a huge fan of his recent Strange U work and I knew he’d sound great on this so I reached out.
Still Life ft. Devise
I used to have a flat on a busy high street. People-watching out the window was a constant diversion. This song was inspired by some of the people I saw through that window. It’s also inspired by some real-life events that my sisters once experienced. It’s the third in a series of tracks (the others being What Eye See parts one and two). Devise dropped a classic verse on What Eye See Part Two, so it was only right to get him back in for the third instalment.
Evade And Seek ft. Brotherman, produced by Tall Black Guy
This track started life as a Brotherman freestyle. Somehow it ended up being a full track with a Tall Black Guy beat and live instrumentation by Kaidi Tatham, who I truly feel is one of the most talented musicians of our time. It’s a song about our city. We tried to capture all aspects of London life. Brotherman killed it with his uniquely poetic style. I’m fully co-signing him and trying to help him get more music out there because I feel he needs to be heard.
Middle Man (Live Acoustic Version)
Sofar Sounds is a collective of music lovers. They hold live performance sessions from people’s living rooms. The atmosphere is unlike any other gig – super intimate and you can see people’s reactions to the music as they hear it. Thanks to Sofar for putting me on and to Phil Stevenson and D.ablo for backing me on guitar. An MC and two acoustic guitars is an unusual trio but I think it worked!
This was one of the highlights of the Misadventures of a Middle Man album launch party at London’s legendary Jazz Cafe. It’s the first time this track has ever been performed and it’s not an easy one to get right! It was rough around the edges but the energy was there, so we decided to share this. Thanks to all who came and showed love and to my band D.ablo, Jack Baker, Johnny Tomlinson, Chris “Fatty” Hargreaves, Phil Stevenson, Mr Thing and Devise.