Featuring AJ Tracey, Jelani Blackman, Barrington Levy and Alicaì Harley
Today sees the release of new music from Gorillaz: a 3-track EP titled Meanwhile celebrating Carnival and West London comprising tracks Déjà Vu ft. Alicaì Harley recorded live in London; the steel pan-infused Jimmy Jimmy ft. AJ Tracey; and title track Meanwhile ft. Jelani Blackman with Barrington Levy. LISTEN HERE.
Gorillaz frontman 2D said “Meanwhile Gardens are just round the corner from Memory Lane. If you get to Crawley you’ve gone too far.”
Following Gorillaz’ triumphant return to the stage earlier this month, the band’s 20th anniversary party continues with Murdoc, Russel, Noodle and 2D today sharing a very special EP of all-new music. Meanwhile is a joyous homage to the iconic Notting Hill Carnival, paused this year due to the pandemic, and West London, home to the band’s Kong Studios. The 2000 Carnival signalled the start of something big for Gorillaz with their first ever outing, a performance of ‘Clint Eastwood’ at the Middle Row Records soundsystem in Meanwhile Gardens, W10 alongside Sweetie Irie. This new EP of three tracks collectively titled Meanwhile in recognition of that special moment, is a celebration of the unique and inclusive spirit of Carnival and features Ladbroke Grove’s AJ Tracey and Jelani Blackman, as well as Jamaica-born, London-based dancehall star Alicaì Harley.
Meanwhile EP Tracklisting:
- Meanwhile (ft. Jelani Blackman with Barrington Levy)
- Jimmy Jimmy (ft. AJ Tracey)
- Déjà Vu (ft. Alicaì Harley) Live from NW10
Gorillaz made an emotional return to the live stage earlier this month with two sold-out shows at London’s O2 Arena. The performance on 10th August, to thank and recognise all NHS staff who continue to work tirelessly to keep us all safe, saw the band debut all three new tracks, with Damon Albarn and the Gorillaz live band joined onstage by AJ Tracey, Jelani Blackman and Alicaì Harley, bringing a roof-raising Carnival-esque atmosphere to the South London arena.
“…the two new songs… are an unmissable spectacle. In tribute to the Notting Hill roots of the band, the stage becomes a carnival, filled with flags and steel bands, while Jamaican singer Alicaì Harley parades the stage in a white fur hat so large, it might reverse global warming single-handed.” – The Independent, 4/5 stars
“… rising West London rapper Jelani Blackman… features on ‘Meanwhile’, a new song previewed tonight that capture the spirit of carnival the vibrant optimism of the steel band underpinning his confident bars.” – NME, 4/5 stars
“Two new songs… celebrated London’s carnival traditions, briefly transforming the arena into a Notting Hill side-street complete with soca rhythms, flags and air horns.” – Financial Times, 5/5 stars
Download high-res press shot here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1r_GeQY1DX0i2kLnr1KT0cYc-XqRdhI2X?usp=sharing
Virtual band Gorillaz is singer 2D, bassist Murdoc Niccals, guitarist Noodle and drummer Russel Hobbs. Created by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett, their acclaimed eponymous debut album was released in 2001. The BRIT and Grammy Award winning band’s subsequent albums are Demon Days (2005), Plastic Beach (2010), The Fall (2011), Humanz (2017), The Now Now (2018) and Song Machine – Season One: Strange Timez (2020). A truly global phenomenon, Gorillaz have achieved success in entirely ground-breaking and unique ways, touring the world from San Diego to Syria, Montevideo to Manchester and winning numerous awards including the coveted Jim Henson Creativity Honor. The band are recognised by The Guinness Book Of World Records as the planet’s Most Successful Virtual Act.