Years back, Emmanuel Jal rose to prominence by sharing the story of his past as a child soldier in his book War Child (and documentary of the same name). The South Sudanese-Canadian musician and activist is now set to release his fifth studio album The Key later this month, and you can listen to it right here on Exclaim.ca.
Co-executive produced by Demacio "Demo" Castellon and Paul Lindley, the new record boasts collaborations with Chic/Daft Punk guitar hero Niles Rodgers (who produced lead single "My Power") and Nelly Furtado ("Scars," "Party"). A recent press release describes the latest offering as Jal's "most ambitious and sonically adventurous music project to date."
Recorded across the globe in Kenya, Uganda, London, New York and Toronto, The Key was not only influenced by a wide range of geographic locations, but also manages to span an array of musical genres. It combines traditional African music with modern hip-hop and pop, but also incorporates elements of EDM, reggae, dub, soul and Afrobeat.
It's an eclectic mix of music with a powerful message behind it, and the album arrives on September 9 through Gatwitch/Universal.
Jal will be celebrating the album's release with a show at Toronto's Tattoo Rock Parlor on October 9 with special guests, but to tide you over until then, listen to The Key in the player below. Also see all Jal's upcoming dates here.