Idris Elba is releasing 'mi Mandela,' an album inspired by Nelson Mandela with James Blake, Mumford & Sons, Spoek Mathambo, and DJ Spoko.
British actor Idris Elba is gearing up to release a Mandela-inspired eleven-track album in November. mi Mandela, "a celebration of South African music inspired by Nelson Mandela," its subheader reads, is a joint UK-South Africa project conceived while Elba was in Johannesburg filming Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom. Music, Elba explains, was part of his research for his role in the biopic. Curated, written and produced by Elba, the album came as an afterthought to the film. Recorded between Johannesburg, London and Mali, the project brought together a rather unexpected team of collaborators across the UK and South Africa. According to NME, Mumford & Sons wrote the track "Home" while piano dubstep prince James Blake features on "Nothembi Jam." From the Mzansi side, Elba worked with the likes of Spoek Mathambo and Atteridgeville, PTA's bacardi house pioneer DJ Spoko (whose debut album War God is out today). The album also features contributions from longtime Okayplayer Cody Chesnutt, Maverick Sabre, Mr. Hudson, George the Poet, Nothembi Mkhwebane, and 60's South African "girl group" Mahotella Queens. mi Mandela is out 24th November 2014 on 7wallace/Parlophone and is currently available for pre-order on iTunes. The first single, "You Give Me Love," arrives November 10th and features vocals from Irish-English singer/songwriter/rapper Maverick Sabre. Watch Elba discuss the album in the video below. For more Mandela-inspired music listen to Tshepang Ramoba’s 67-Minute ‘Mandela Day’ Mix and read Nelson Mandela: A Life In Music.