Werkha - The Invincible feat. Alex Rita (Digital single, Tru Thoughts, 2015)
Werkha - The Invincible feat. Alex Rita
(Digital single) Tru Thoughts TRUDD147, 2015-10-23
01. The Invincible feat. Alex Rita 03:27
02. The Invincible feat. Alex Rita (J-Felix Remix) 04:16
03. The Invincible feat. Alex Rita (Shunya Remix) 04:07
04. Sidesteppin' feat. Bryony Jarman-Pinto (Henry Wu Remix) 05:12
05. Falling Through The Wall (Jonny Faith Remix) 04:04
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Press Release :
Out 23rd October, “The Invincible feat. Alex Rita” is the latest single from Werkha’s hugely acclaimed June debut LP, ‘Colours Of A Red Brick Raft’. This beautifully catchy song, which has been a near-constant fixture in the playlists of Julie Adenuga’s flagship Beats1 show in recent months, showcases his intricate mix of deep, jazzy and worldly influences with serious, forward thinking electronic beats and a playful charm. The single package also brings the first set of remixes for Werkha’s album, with brand new reworks from Henry Wu, J-Felix, Shunya and Jonny Faith.
The last year has been one of rapid progress for Werkha, AKA producer/multi-instrumentalist Tom A. Leah. In addition to Adenuga’s enthusiastic support, he has enjoyed continued props from one of his early champions Gilles Peterson, as well as heavy airplay from Lauren Laverne, Nemone, Monki and others across BBC 6Music, BBC Radio 1 and beyond - both in the UK and internationally. Positive press coverage from Clash, DJ Mag and THUMP (to name a few) adds to live support for Bonobo, Chet Faker, Mr Scruff, Gilles Peterson, GoGo Penguin, and a busy summer of headline and festival dates for his formidable live outfit. Further live and DJ dates being lined up to see out the year, include DJ support for Quantic, a live set at Oval Space (London) with fellow rising stars Romare and Clap! Clap!, and shows in France.
“It’s really nice that the support and interest in it seems to be continually growing”, says Leah of the exciting reactions to his album; “It backs up my thoughts that music should be made to last. It also gives me faith that people are hearing something new in the record with each listen. That means a lot to me.”
“The Invincible feat. Alex Rita” finds Leah exploring his great collaborative sensibilities, working with talented vocalist Alex Rita for a delicate yet crowd-pleasingly direct ditty. The lead track is reworked by two different remixers here, and first up is label mate J-Felix (whose own debut album was also released this summer, to high praise including 8/10 in NME), who switches it up with his delicious funk touch, picking up Leah’s hints of soulful production and running with them.
The Shunya Remix sees Alan Keary, who has been key in the development of Werkha’s live show (on cello and bass) as well as several arrangements on the album, in producer mode; tipping its hat to jazzy, head-nod hip hop with cutting edge flourishes, his is a quirky and choppy yet addictive spin on the lead track. “I sincerely believe that this guy is one of those names that is going to continue appearing on all sorts of records over the course our lives”, says Leah of his collaborator. Hotly tipped Henry Wu takes Werkha’s best known track, “Sidesteppin’ feat. Bryony Jarman-Pinto” – always a singalong at live shows – and transports it to the reincarnated broken beat scene that is currently swelling up through the clubs and the airwaves thanks to players like Wu. Wrapping up the package is a mix from another of Tru Thoughts’ current wave of exciting electronic talents, as Jonny Faith brings a killer, squelchy-basslined spin on the deep, experimental album cut “Falling Through The Wall”.
“I’m so glad this remix package welcomes such a great array of styles, and all producers have consciously approached each tune with their own style”, enthuses Leah. “They’re all genuinely interesting and musically detailed productions which prop up my ideals of music that moves the mind and the feet.”
Leah first began feeding his musical passions with classical, folk and jazz as a youngster. As Werkha he cooks up an infectious fusion of Afrobeat, bass, house, jazz, funk and soul, bound together and brought bang up to date through constantly evolving electronic production. Before being snapped up by Tru Thoughts he had already announced himself with the “Cube & Puzzle” EP which gained around 300,000 video views and saw Gilles Peterson licensing a track to a Brownswood Bubblers compilation. Still just 23 years old, Leah backs up the childlike freedom in his music with a purposeful and philosophical approach that marks him out further as a musician to be taken seriously.
Leah moved from the urban bustle of Manchester to the sticks of Cumbria as a child, later returning to the city of his birth to study music and pursue his career. While his creative inspirations have been anchored in these two geographically close but starkly different environments that he calls home, the same fascination with capturing a sense of place also infuses his music with the energy and flavours of travel and adventure. And this year has also seen the fleet-footed Leah heading off to new territory, with a move to Glasgow, where he now bases himself and is looking forward to putting down roots.