French/Danish artist M.I.L.K. is releasing a new EP The Lockdown Tapes.
A project in collaboration with Jenke Ahmed Tailly – previously creative director and stylist for Beyoncé and Kanye West. The 3 track EP features Danish alt-pop artist Soleima, Reggae icon Tiken Jah Fakoly from Ivory Coast, rising Paris-based singer Kristina Bazan, and Danish synth-wizard and pianist August Rosenbaum.
Defying the odds in a truly unprecedented time for the music industry, M.I.L.K. and Jenke Ahmed Tailly have digitally brought together artists from around the globe, to help support the fight against COVID-19.
The Lockdown Tapes idea was originally conceived by between M.I.L.K. (real name Emil Wilk) and Jenke Ahmed Tailly on a phone call about a project they should have made in Paris this Spring. It was the same day that all of Europe was shut down and everything came to a standstill, of sorts. M.I.L.K. talks about the conversation that started the project: “Recent events have turned all of our everyday lives upside down, showing us exactly how close we all are, no matter what country we’re in. This thought was the inspiration to start this somewhat impossible project of bringing together artists and musicians from all over the world, and making a joint EP, where the money is donated to WHO and their work fighting this Coronavirus.”
Jenke Ahmed Tailly continued: “In a busy everyday there’s so many things we take for granted, which were suddenly taken away from us: sharing a meal with our elders, sharing the metro with strangers, sharing love with new romances etc. So as I see it, this crises is really a call for us all to examine our personal essence of life – and that’s what we’re trying to inspire with this project, by collecting artists from all parts of the world and letting them write songs together to share their perspectives on life during this lockdown.”
After the idea was born, M.I.L.K. locked himself away in the studio, working on various demos, which he and Jenke Ahmed Tailly subsequently sent out to artists and musicians from all over the world who then worked on the songs from home and sent their parts back. Speaking a little more on the process, M.I.L.K. said: “I was surprised at how quickly people were responding to the idea. Whether it was 61-year-old Tiken Jah Fakoly, who is a reggae icon from the Ivory Coast, or Danish pop-star Soleima, or the many horn players from Mali, or our Swedish mixer Anders Hvenare. Everyone has been absolutely fantastic and ready to help.”
The songs on The Lockdown Tapes, range from the hopeful intimate electro-pop jammer “WWW”, with M.I.L.K. and Soleima ruminating on feeling of getting lost in the depth of the internet, to the reggae-infused summer smash “Pretty Nice Life” featuring Ivory Coast singer Tiken Jah Fakoly. “Guess I’ll Have To Wait”, the third track on the EP is a blissful, soul-tinged cut featuring vocals from singer Kristina Bazan and lead-synth melodies from August Rosenbaum, and epitomises the sound of the thousands of lonely lockdown parties happening across homes all over the world with people dancing on their own.
In addition to being a charity project, The Lockdown Tapes EP is also an expression of determination from M.I.L.K. to keep creating music and art even though we can’t meet face-to-face for some time. Among many other artists and musicians, M.I.L.K. has had shows and tours cancelled as a result of COVID-19, along with European promotional activities for his newly released album, which was released the day Europe was shut down.
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