Rising Gospel artist Imani Shola returns with healing EP, Mapmaking, vol. i | @imanishola |
Having released her rousing gospel ballad, Oxygen, in December, Imani Shola will release her debut EP, Mapmaking, vol. i, on 17 February 2023.
Endearingly dubbed ‘the healing EP’, and with song titles alone referencing therapeutic concepts like ‘Inner-child Healing’, Mapmaking, vol. i aims to lovingly introduce listeners to several core psychotherapy principles to encourage them to do the inner-work that many people don’t; the work that sets us free from autopilot patterns, heals low self-esteem, and breaks generational cycles. With styles across the EP ranging from dance-worthy sambas (‘On You’), to rousing ballads (‘So Long’), to moving a’capellas (‘What Do’), Mapmaking, vol. i offers both compassion and conviction; care and challenge; empathy and edification.
“Healing and wellness have been close to my heart since childhood, and the themes of all of my books, so Mapmaking, vol. i is my musical offering on this theme,” says the artist.
Therapeutic themes touched on range from Father-Wound healing (‘So Long’), to healing from abuse (‘What Do’), to Wounded Inner Child healing (‘Name’). Imani’s characteristic harmonies and prominent backing vocals feature throughout as always; her signature style and means of bringing comfort.
The EP was produced by Jacob F. Essel, mixed and mastered by Július Korbela, and features bass guitarist Eric J. Aliss, all talented musicians.
Hailing from North London, the daughter of a gifted jazz-saxophonist father, Imani Shola has been aligned with the best in Jazz, Soul and Gospel for as long as she can remember. She was raised on the melodies of greats such as Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone and Mary Mary; Miles Davis and Erykah Badu; Eva Cassidy and Norah Jones. More recent influences include the detailed harmonies of Alex Isley, the feminine flair or Nao, and the soothing vocals of Snoh Aalegra and a Cleo Sol. Like these artists, undertones of jazz and soul colour her works. Imani Shola characterises herself with distinctive harmonies and authentic lyricism that set her apart.
So far she has worked alongside producers Duane Caleb, Jay Picasso and Jacob F. Essel, who have seen her gift, captured her vision and helped her burst into the industry with a distinctive sound. She’s already built up a buzz since her 2020 debut, with tracks ‘Author of My Life’ (11K streams), Gold (10K streams and featured on Gospel Hydration), and Oxygen, featured in We Write About Music and Color; all strong tracks that have racked up her numbers on music platforms considerably. She’s bold, talented, charismatic and we can’t wait to see what 2023 has in store for Imani Shola, including a surprise single very soon!
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