Mvula Mandondo | album photo shoot | Hove, East Sussex
Today’s post is very close to my heart and words are beyond describing how excited I am about sharing this with you! It’s been a long time coming and a massive celebration for our whole family. My partner, Ed, has been involved on a project for the past 18 months which has transformed our home into a working studio and hub of creativity. The result is this incredible (if you don’t mind me saying so myself) debut album which combines the talents of renowned multi-instramentalist Saidi Kanda and Ed’s skills of production, composition, mixing and now managing of this new band – Mvula Mandondo.
Ed and Saidi have become my muses as I have documented their journey together from when I first met Ed back in 2007 to where they’re at today. I’ve attempted a bit of gig photography at most of their gigs and had the privilege of documenting their drum recording at Black Wookie Studios for the album. Once recording had begun and conversations regarding the album design started I knew that I wanted to do a photo shoot for them and was thrilled to be given pretty much 99% creative control for both the album cover and layout.
I called on the skills of my designer/illustrator friend, Mish, who also designed my website as I knew she would be the perfect person to take my vision for the album and make it something dynamically professional and slick. What has resulted for the cover is a boldly colourful and vintage looking digital adaptation of one of my photographs combined with Mish’s phenomenal illustrative skills to create something that perfectly represents what the band is all about. She also took my suggested album artwork layout using the images from the photo shoot and married it with her magical Mish flair to produce a beautiful story of the band. It’s been an inspirational collaboration of skills and I feel so privileged to have been involved on this project.
The timing of the shoot for the album ended up being the beginning of January and the guys were very brave to brace the freezing 2 degree weather! My fingers literally froze and I had no idea the pain involved in such a process – they were tingling for days afterwards…all in the name of art, right? I’ve been dying to share the images and at long last, as the album is officially launched both digitally and on CD I am free to do so.
Go check out their website, like their facebook page, or sign up to their newsletter to hear more about their story unfolding, but most importantly…go listen to their album and see if you can sit still!!! I certainly can’t