Serving the San Francisco Bay Area New Music Community

Eki Shola
Composer, pianist, and singer
Born in London to Jamaican parents, Eki Shola was raised in a musical family. She emigrated to New York in 1987 and later as a pre-med student at Cornell University, she played in the jazz ensemble performing with legendary musicians such as Steve Turre and Dr. Donald Byrd. Now living in Northern California, Eki Shola released her debut album, Final Beginning, in 2016 and the album has been reviewed, charted, and aired around the world. ASCAP Plus winner and three-time NorBay Music awardee (2017-2019) for Best Electronica Artist, Eki Shola has played across the San Francisco Bay Area, London, and New York City and has opened for various artists including Kitaro, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Bebel Gilberto, DakhaBrakha, Baraka Moon, Sammy J, Lucky Otis, and Habib Koité.

Eki Shola and her family narrowly escaped the 2017 Sonoma County wildfires. Driving through the flames and subsequently losing everything including her music studio and the clinic where she worked as a physician, writing music became a healing necessity for Eki Shola. Within weeks of the wildfires, with donated studio time and instruments from the Bay Area community, she was composing and performing at events honoring first-responders and raising funds for musicians and students affected by the wildfires. During this time, Eki Shola also wrote and produced a trilogy album reflecting the three movements of healing and reflection post-wildfires. Possible was released on 2/22/19, and Drift on 11/11/2019. Essential will be released this year. After submitting her song “Dreaming”, filmed among the ruins of her incinerated home, Eki Shola was selected to perform at the 2018 NPR Tiny Desk Contest tour. Honoring the anniversary of the wildfires, her personal story has been featured in a PBS TV special, “The New Normal: Visions of Healing”.

Listed on the NACC Community’s Best Albums & Singles of 2019 and The Bay Bridged Best of 2019, and with her Drift album charting on college radio stations across the country, Eki Shola looks forward to releasing her fourth album, Essential, on 9/9/20.
The first track on the Possible album (released 2/22/19), Why 2x reflects a sense of restriction and inner conflict - a feeling of wanting to break out, vocalize and be heard. It transitions into resolution and acceptance of self, accompanied by playful joyfulness. Why 2x is written, produced, performed & mixed by Eki Shola Dance by Europa Grace Filming by Brad Stroud
This year I decided I wanted to enter the competition as a way of giving back to my community. The setting is in our garage where my music studio was (where I filmed my Tiny Desk 2016 entry) - both destroyed by the wildfires. Despite the contents being incinerated, the structure although not structurally sound, is somewhat erect and it reminds me that even in stark conditions, hope always remains. “Dreaming” is a song about growth and gratitude and is my gift to not only those affected by the wildfires but for all the strangers, friends, family and community that have supported us and Sonoma County over these months. Special thanks to and Ted Gould at I couldn’t have done this video without their talent. It was somewhat of a somber yet uplifting experience and I think they captured that essence beautifully. Dreaming of a new start! Eki Shola Lyrics: No time to say bye but giving thanks Trying to find peace of mind The
Radiohead, All I Need cover by Eki Shola
Nina Simone I wish I knew How It Would Feel to Be Free, rendition by Eki Shola
Eki Shola: Jazzy hiphop vibes to chill, study, de-stress to
When you lose your music including all your stems in the 2017 Tubbs wildfire and you come across a musical gem among your saved emails - you realize how making music doesn't have to be temporal nor perfect in its process. It's all about the vibe and how it makes you feel. Jubilee is about two artists virtually collaborating and connecting... music unifies us all.
In times of adversity, I think about the different ways I’ve learned to cope with challenges. I don’t assume that we share the same beliefs or interpretation but my personal thought is that crisis as excruciating as it may be to endure, allows an intricate view into the breakdown of structure, systems, and life as the way we know it. Change can be accompanied by examining what went wrong and how it can be mended, improved upon or even uphauled. A friend posted online the other day, is there any good that can come out of this current time? I say yes! There’s always the opportunity to do good and to be better if we can appreciate and learn from what circumstances come our way. After reading about the struggles experienced by Brooklyn's SUNY Downstate Medical Center battling coronavirus, I was moved to donate to Charles Kim's GoFundMe. Please consider helping these medical residents and make a donation, even if it's $1, at Every little bit counts
CDs on which Eki Shola appears:
Eki'Shola BHMEM
Artist: Eki'Shola
Title: BHMEM
Label: Bandcamp
Label page on this site: Bandcamp
Eki Shola Essential
Artist: Eki Shola
Title: Essential
Label: Bandcamp
Label page on this site: Bandcamp