ESKA defies categorisation, blending soul, folk-pop, jazz, electronica and blues. Her twenty-year career has taken her around the world, collaborating with artists including Grace Jones, UNKLE and Tony Allen. In 2015, ESKA released her self-titled debut album to rave reviews, earning a Mercury Prize nomination. In May ESKA will lead our latest Artistic Directors Series titled “Are You Here?”, culminating in a showcase of new work at Band on the Wall.
Here ESKA shares her top tips
1. Learn about gardening, even if you’ve only got a balcony or a mantlepiece. Watching things grow, learning how to keep things alive and being mindful of the seasons is incredibly rewarding. It will make you feel much more serene about meeting your end and enrich your time here. There are signs in the heavens and the earth – God is everywhere!
2. Don’t reply to emails in the middle of the night – you’re tired and a bit delirious so everything you read will sound like a scream… and you’re more prone to scream back!
3. A quantised world is a miserable one. Learn to get off grid; he who has ears…
4. Oats are the perfect breakfast. I love them raw with yogurt, fruit and seeds. Breakfast is important.
5. Heels will mash up your knees eventually – ain’t worth it, mate.
6. Learn about ‘schema’ when you become a parent. It changes everything!
7. We are not just one thing. Explore your glorious, multi-faceted self in this one lifetime you have.
8. The true mark of success is not having to own a mobile phone – and I’m working hard to get to that point.
9. Carpet is great, especially in winter but it’s not practical whilst potty training.
10. I went on a musical pilgrimage to New York several years ago. Just like Dorothy (in Quincy’s Oz) I went on down that yellow brick road looking for goodness knows what; courage, enlightenment, salvation, inspiration, knowledge? Well, after several weeks of soul searching I recall getting in to my seat on my return flight back whilst screaming out loud, ‘I am the Wizard!’. It all came together in that moment. The music industry is like that little old man, nervously sitting behind a tannoy, putting enough confusing ideas into Dorothy’s head to make her think that she hasn’t got what it takes to do anything without him. It’s a truly magical feeling to know that you have the power within you to click your heals and elevate yourself to anything. Yes, I AM THE WIZARD!
11. Don’t take any of this seriously, for goodness’ sake – what do I know? If you were expecting musical tips, I guess the point I’m trying to make is that it’s best not to overthink it. Let it be…and be it.