Actor Idris Elba (The Wire, Luther) recently portrayed Nelson Mandela in the biopic, Long Walk to Freedom. Now, Elba has announced the release of a Mandela tribute album, featuring contributions from Mumford & Sons, James Blake, and others.
Entitled mi Mandela, the 11-track album is touted as “a celebration of South African music inspired by Nelson Mandela,” according to a press release. The record features both West and South African musicians: namely, Mumford and Sons wrote the title track “Home”, and Blake appears on the track “Nothembi Jam”. Other contributors include Cody ChesnuTT, Spoek Mathambo, DJ Spoko, Mr. Hudson, the “Queen of Ndebele Music” Nothembi Mkhwebane, and ’60s girl group the Mahotella Queens.
“South Africa has numerous different tribes and each one has a musical expression, and each one has a very unique, different sound style,” Elba told NME of the album, which was recorded in London, Mali, and Johannesburg during shooting of Mandela. “At the time I had my studio at the apartment I was staying in while I was making the film – a little keyboard, a laptop – and as an experiment to myself, I vowed to keep making music.”
mi Mandela is due out November 24th via Parlophone and Elba’s own 7wallace imprint. The lead single, “You Give Me Love” featuring Maverick Sabre, will be available November 10th. Below, watch a promo clip as Elba further explains the project’s origins and his inspiration.
In addition to acting roles in The Wire, Prometheus, and a possible turn as the next James Bond, Elba has an active side gig in music. He’s recorded several soul and hip-hop tracks, collaborated with Damon Albarn, and often spins under the awesome moniker DJ Big Driis.