\\ Vula Viel perform new track for Jazz Standard

In a stripped down set, Vula Viel performed new track I Learn exclusively for Jazz Standard and Sofar Sounds.

Vula Viel performed in a secret line up of three acts that was only revealed to the audience atBianca Road Brewery in Peckham, London on the night. Soulful vocalist and guitarist Andrew Ashong performed with his band, as well as rapper Louis VI featuring DJ Andwot.

Talking to Jazz Standard about the track I learn, bandleader Bex Burch explains that Dagaare xylophone music made a big impression on her during her time in Ghana, where she learnt to play the gyil. She says, “one of the most striking lessons for me was the funerals. The music is central to the three day grieving ritual – not only with the harmony sending the spirits of the deceased to the ancestor world, but also helping the family and community to grieve”.

vula viel sofar sounds

Credit \\ Abi Raymaker

Burch adds, “Grief is love. At some point everything is destruction and death and shame, but there was always a moment I realised I was laughing, and then dancing, and celebrating. Physically we’d near the end -hungover and exhausted – and begin to repair and rebuild the house, which also got wreaked”. She explains that whilst she was repairing the property, she realised “how healing the insults had been”. Burch says, “I describe it as going right down into the darkness, hitting bottom and smiling as I got up, lighter and more honest for the journey”. She explains how she took this train of thought back to the UK. “Looking honestly – really looking – sometimes means darkness. And rather than pushing ugly stuff under the carpet, the ugly can teach me so much. I’m not interested in sugar coated half-truths, I want the real thing”.

Follow us on social media to find out about the next shows we’re curating for Sofar Sounds in London and New York.

Check out Vula Viel on Bandcamp.

Tweet @jazz_standard and follow @sofarlondon

JS | Tina Edwards

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