Brendan Chute


PREMIERE: Recover lost histories and memories in Zena Carlota’s ethereal new single, “Say You Know”

October 19, 2017
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Oakland-based Zena Carlota wears many hats. As a composer, multi-instrumentalist, singer, visual and theater artist, Carlota uses her dynamic talents to navigate “the space between dreams, ancestry and memory in sound and imagery.” The first single off of her debut EP, “Say You Know” is a culmination of that work, a genre-defying ode to what is lost and reclaiming histories carried by Carlota’s distinctive soothing voice and the atmospheric sound of the Kora, a 21-string West African bridge harp she learned over ten years of study.

“‘Say you know my name’ is the chorus of the song, and for me it’s a reminder that to speak something, to give it voice, whether though words, dance, storytelling or song, is a powerful way to conjure what we may have lost on our path and to invite what is sacred to us back into our lives,” Carlota explains. “I think the music hopes to share the sentiment that what we are searching for is also searching for us in many ways […] This song, really spoke to my inspiration in combining Indigenous West African harp music, and classical music from the African Diaspora, with American chamber music to allow a space for these different cultures to find their common denominator and create a language of their own outside of geography and time.”

Check out the beautiful track and video below!: