Nothembi Jam

Album: Mi Mandela (2014)
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Songfacts®:

  • This sparse, plaintive tune is a track from Mi Mandela, an album inspired by Idris Elbas's experience playing the South African anti-Apartheid leader Nelson Mandela in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.‎ The song is titled after South African artist Nothembi Mkhwebane, who contributed towards the tune.
  • The track features James Blake on the guitar. Elba hooked up with the electronic music singer-songwriter after running into him at a Brixton, London café. The actor told Spin magazine: "I was directing a video for an artist D'Banj, he's a Nigerian rapper. I was in Brixton shooting that, having lunch at this place, and this kid came up and sat next to me and he goes, 'Idris, I'm James.' And I'm, 'Hello, man. I didn't recognize you, you're James Blake.' We know mutual friends."

    "We sat there talking, and I told him what I was doing and he goes, 'Oh man, I'd love to hear it.' So I sent him a couple of jams when I was mixing songs," Elba continued. "He came down to studio to mess around with one of these tracks and the one he ended up on he came into the studio and plugged in the Rhodes and started playing. He didn't want to sing, he just wanted to get on it."

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