Kamaal Williams has presented a new video for "Salaam," taken from his upcoming debut album The Return, scheduled for release later this month.
Filmed in Marrakech by Greg Barnes, the same director who has been working closely with Williams on all of the band's visuals and also made the music video for "Catch The Loop," which is actually the sequel to this video. In the director's’ own words:
"After working together on "Catch The Loop," Kamaal and I knew we wanted it to be a part of a larger whole, and that the tracks on the album would become chapters, or scenes, from a bigger picture—that the upcoming album, The Return, was in essence, the soundtrack to an unmade, and epic film.
"It was almost without conversation that we decided Morocco should set the scene for "Salaam," a place of real connection and meaning to Kamaal and his music. The rest, with the help of the people of Marrakech, fell into place very naturally."
Kamaal (a.k.a Henry Wu) also adds:
"Marrakech is a special place for me, both spiritually and creatively. Every time I go, I feel alive again and it's a huge inspiration for my work. There is no art scene in Morocco without Hassan Hajjaj, so I couldn’t make this film without his blessing. He introduced me to Amine Bendriouich who introduced me to Yazid and we made the film in two days. Working with local people in the medina and sharing our story with the community made this experience real. Greg Barnes captured the essence of my relationship with the city as well as the colors and the energy of everything in it. The series will continue. A special thanks goes out to Yazid, Hassan Hajjaj, Amine Bendriouich, Ahlam Triki, Mouhcine Zoutina, Abdul Razzaq and the umma of Marrakech."
Williams is perhaps best known for his Yussef Kamaal collaboration with Yussef Dayes, which resulted in 2016's Black Focus LP on Gilles Peterson's Brownswood Recordings. Elsewhere, he's shared a catalog of 12"s for imprints such as MCDE, Eglo, and Rhythm Section as Henry Wu, establishing himself as a key figure in his thriving international scene for the past few years.
The Return sees Williams playing keyboards as part of a group that includes bassist Pete Martin and drummer MckNasty, along with sound engineer Richard Samuels. It's described "a natural evolution" of the Yussef Kamaal project, "mining the influence of visionary jazz but blended with all kinds of texture, sounds, and signals from the over-saturated London streets."
Kamaal Williams - Keys
Pete Martin - Bass
MckNasty - Drums
Richard Samuels - Engineer
2. Broken Theme
3. The Return
4. High Roller
5. Situations (Live In Milan)
6. Catch The Loop
7. Rhythm Commission
9. LDN Shuffle
The Return LP will land on May 25 with "Salaam" streaming in full below.