Last year, Blue Lab Beats joined SoulBounce faves like Jorja Smith, Jordan Rakei, Poppy Ajudha and Yazmin Lacey for the incredible Blue Note Re:imagined project. Now the London duo – featuring producer NK-OK and multi-instrumentalist Mr DM – is back with Blue Note again, this time for their official debut EP We Will Rise. The album is a means to offer some musical catharsis for a world worn down by racism and prejudice. They describe it as "music that variously celebrates resilience, provides reassurance, and sparks joy."
Like many artists, the talented pair took cues from the unpredictable and tragic events of 2020. “We’d been planning a tour when Covid hit and everything was cancelled,” NK-OK explains. “We rested. We rehearsed ideas. We did a bunch of features. But our creativity was properly kick-started when the Black Lives Matter movement started again. There were so many violent images being shared and seeing them on repeat felt damaging for our people. We wanted to do a healing blanket of songs. Despite everything that’s happened, we are going to heal. We’re going to make it through.”
The five-track collection begins with an assist from Ghetto Boy, as the fellas make you wanna wind yuh waist on dancehall jam "Blow You Away (Delilah)." From the islands, Alex Blake joins them on a jaunt to Cuba for the groovy "Nights In Havana." A saxophone solo from our boy Braxton Cook elevates the infectious title track to new heights before BLB switches gears and cools down on the interlude "Great Lemon." Finally, Kojey Radical and DTsoul help inject a bit of sophisti-ratchet fun into "Tempting (Dance 2)."
We Will Rise is currently available everywhere good music is sold. Preview the album below, then witness #BlackBoyJoy while learning some new moves with the visuals for "Blow You Away (Delilah)."