Lose yourself in the soulful world of singer-songwriter Tawiah’s poignant second album, Ertha, created in collaboration with artist Al Moore.
Ertha is a concept album, created collaboratively through a process of storytelling and musical interpretation. Through a series of original writings and poems Al tells a story of the human journey as one of “getting lost in order to be found”, suggesting that, despite unavoidable suffering, there is great hope in this; it is by navigating darkness that we find light. Tawiah composed music in response to these writings. The album depicts Ertha’s life from birth to death; her journey represents that of the individual and the collective, we also hear from the ever present, objective Universe.
The pair describe the process as akin to an actor and director working with a script, and the outcome a cohesive musical story as opposed to simply tracks on an album. Ertha was written and recorded at their home during the Covid19 lockdowns, it was agreed that the raw first draft nature of the home recordings is part of Ertha’s story and charm. Co-produced by Jodi Milliner (Kano, Sam Smith), mixed by Blue May (Kano, Joy Crookes) and mastered by Matt Colton (Christina and the Queens, James Blake). The album also features collaborations with Matthew Kofi Waldren (Welsh National Opera, Opera North) and Lydia Marchione (English National Opera).
“The process of collaborating with Al within the limitations of my home studio has been liberating; it forced me to work in new ways and to push myself musically. My creativity feels limitless and unbounded. I see now that, like Ertha, getting lost is what gives us the strength of character we need to find, and be, who we really are. I’m grateful for this journey” –Tawiah
Tawiah was invited to join Michael Kiwanuka for a preview of Ertha on his sold-out UK tour in May. On her return she was part of the In The Black Fantastic Festival at the Southbank Centre where she performed Ertha with choir; For The Culture Collective and full stage design by Al. The show was met with standing ovations and wide acclaim. Adem Holness, Head of Contemporary Music at the Southbank Centre said the work was “radical, intentional and powerful”, and his colleague Emma Hayes said “the combination of the ghostly yet beautiful imagery alongside Tawiah’s vocal was utterly absorbing”.
Tawiah describes her music as spiritual and soulful, and the sharing of it as her truest purpose. The vestiges of Tawiah’s early church vocal training contrast subtly against a distinctive South London accent, beautiful melodies and pure vocals, all attributing to her original, undeniable sound. With a well-earned reputation at the vanguard of the British alternative soul movement and as one of the country’s most exciting live acts, Tawiah continues to deliver heartfelt music that connects deeply with her fans. Ertha is out now on all platforms: https://tawiah.lnk.to/Ertha.
Tawiah is a multi-instrumentalist-singer-songwriter, singing from a young age in church and at the BRIT school where she studied alongside Amy Winehouse and Adele amongst others. Over the past decade Tawiah has self-released two EP’s; In Jodi’s Bedroom (2007) and Recreate (2017) which she toured with Moses Sumney, in 2019 she released her debut album Starts Again.
This Spring (2022) Tawiah toured a preview of new work Ertha with Michael Kiwanuka on his UK tour. Tawiah has worked in collaboration with artists including: Dev Hynes, Kindness, Mark Ronson, Cinematic Orchestra and Kano.
Her work is championed by Gilles Peterson, Benji B, Boiler Room, iD, The Guardian and more. Tawiah also works as a TV and film composer, most recently on the score for ITV drama Without Sin (Vicky McClure, Johnny Harris), due for release later this year.
Al Moore is an artist; she creates conceptual worlds within which we can challenge ideas and experience self. With a background in cultivating creative and safe spaces in her communities, she continues to explore the idea that the physical and theoretical spaces we inhabit can be enabling and healing.