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Oceans Apart: A New EP, Short Film And Art Installation From Ghanaian-Canadian Songwriter Kae Sun

Kae Sun announces 'Oceans Apart,' a multimedia collaboration with art director Emeka Alams (Gold Coast Trading Co.) and filmmaker Simon Rittmeier.


Ghanaian-Canadian singer-songwriter Kae Sun is returning with Oceans Apart, a multimedia release crafted during stints across Toronto, New York, Germany and Côte d'Ivoire. The new 4-song EP, from which we've previously heard the closing track "Longwalk," will be accompanied by a short film and installation from art director Emeka Alams (of Gold Coast Trading Co.) and German filmmaker Simon Rittmeier.

Kae Sun tells us that Oceans Apart is inspired by the "notion of belonging," as well as his recent travels and experiences in Germany. The EP will be presented through several concerts, screenings and exhibits in Montreal, Germany, and Accra (see the full dates here). Today we're premiering the EP's new single "Our Sea," a meditative progression carried by sparse guitar arpeggios and Kae Sun's crisp vocal delivery. Stream the track and read our short interview with the singer-songwriter about Oceans Apart below.

Update 11/20: Stream Kae Sun's Oceans Apart in its entirety below. The EP is available today on iTunes.

Okayafrica: What's the inspiration behind "Our Sea" and the new EP?

"Our Sea" is the first song I wrote for this set. For me, the process of writing a song has to be immediate. I don't usually set time aside to write music. I try to catch them in motion. Spending a better part of the last year in Germany, I found myself in this kind of atmosphere where people were questioning the idea of belonging because, of course, it’s the politics of the time.

I was “controlled” once very publicly and I was thinking how completely vulnerable you are in that moment. In a way all of these experiences, plus the fact that life must go on and we fall in love and people we know get sick and we outgrow places and so on—all of that is in this EP. I can’t really dissect it and pick out specific moments but I know it's there because that’s the sort of time I’m having. It’s the period I’m working through.

Tell us about the accompanying Oceans Apart short film and art exhibition.

The film is a collaboration. It’s a bit of a dream collaboration because I’d wanted to work with Emeka Alams for some time and this was the right project for it. We then got director Simon Rittmeier involved. The installation expands on the themes explored in the film and I think Emeka is a very astute artist and storyteller and there’s a cohesion to the work that makes me very excited for people to experience it. For me, it’s pairing music with lyrical and visual concepts. That's what I've been recently interested in doing more of. This piece is driven by an idea that impacts us one way or the other: The notion of belonging, who can go where and who can be with whom, how our personal experiences become very politicized and how the way we relate to each other can be subtly manipulated by structures and powers external to us.

News Brief
Podcast cover art.

Bobi Wine's Release Detailed in Latest Episode of 'The Messenger'

Trauma is the topic on the podcast's latest episode: "The Ballot or The Bullet."

The latest episode of The Messenger is something to behold.

Created by Sudanese-American rapper Bas, The Messenger throws the spotlight on the thunderous circumstances many African countries face, with a close focus on Ugandan politician Bobi Wine.

In his most recent traumatic experience, Wine and his wife Barbara Itungo Kyagulanyi were released from a nearly two-week military house arrest following the ruling of a Ugandan court. Keeping up with current events and circumstances that Wine finds himself in, the latest episode of the podcast recounts the traumatic events that led to Wine's very public abuse and eventual house arrest.

Upon his release, Wine spoke with The Messenger and had this to say, "I want to remind the world that we went in this election knowing how corrupt the staff of the electoral commission is. We saw this through the campaign and the world saw how much was oppressed, how biased and one sided the electoral commission was, and how much it was in the full grip of General Museveni. And therefore we are going to test every legal test, we shall take every legal test. We shall take every legal step. And indeed we shall take every moral and morally proactive, nonviolent, but legal and peaceful step to see that we liberate ourselves. The struggle has not ended. It is just beginning."

Listen to Episode 7 of The Messenger here.

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