Turunesh: Neo Afro Soul’s Rising Star Releases Second Album Today

We’ve got the first music video off Turunesh’s new album, and more about the many raw and volatile natures of a first love, the first times, and the first dances that went into the Tanzanian and Ethiopian singer-songwriter’s newest offering.

Turunesh by Jenn Xu

Happy September 9th, everyone – The day that Turunesh‘s sophomore album, Satin Cassette, is finally released to the world! It’s a body of work that encapsulates the many raw and volatile natures of a first love, a first time, and a first dance. Turunesh invites her listeners into a beautiful love story that’s filled with polarising truths. She calls this sound “fabric music” as it is inspired by both the texture of satin and her sound.

“The word satin came to mind when naming the song because I love how powerful satin makes me feel. The texture of the material is smooth, much like my brown skin, the weight of it light and delicate, much like my nature, and the appearance of it is undeniably powerful, as my essence and spirit is,” Turunesh says.

The name of the project sets the tone for the work’s literary finesse. With allusive song titles like Cigarette, Bantu Knots, Rum & Butter, and Green Hibiscus, Turunesh paints a beautiful picture of a helplessly intertwined, sensually subdued subject that burns with desire and heartache. Check out the official music video for Cigarette below, and keep scrolling for the exclusive live performance:

On a continent dominated by afrobeats, Turunesh’s artistry is as daring and different as her voice. Determined to carve her own path, the Tanzanian / Ethiopian singer effortlessly blends neo-soul and R&B into her own distinct alternative style whilst ensuring her East African roots shine through in every phrasing. This is perfectly exhibited on her new single Cigarette

Over an ethereal production that grabs your attention and puts you in a trance, Turunesh’s voice serves as your guide on a meditative journey through the astral planes. Even without understanding her words, you feel her sensuality, you understand her longing and you know her every desire. “Keep the freaky shit for private, you know me I’m shy” she tells her lover in a voice you can only describe as seductive. At a runtime of 4:13, Cigarette burns as if it is laced with the most potent psychedelics, slow and ecstatic.


“I wrote this song the summer I fell in love in for the first time. At first I didn’t think it had anything to do with me, it felt like a freestyle. The more I listen to Cigarette the more it reveals itself to me as a vivid memory. It’s about the thrill of a first encounter, how it feels to give in and to pull away in a single instance, and what it means to be overcome by desire yet overwhelmed with shyness. We can all find ourselves in the world this song creates, somewhere on the dance floor.” – Turunesh

Cigarette was produced by Time Lyre whose choice of tones and instruments are as intentional as Turunesh’s determination to keep her escapades with her lover away from the prying eyes of the world. Here’s her intimate live performance of Cigarette, which is hot off the presses:

“These songs are letters my spirit and mind wrote to one another, bringing painful and beautiful things to light,” Turunesh says of Satin Cassette. “This is not a conventional album, at least not the way that I make one. It’s an archival piece of work I pulled from within myself at different stages of self discovery, it is a series of pictures, a multitude of worlds, a galaxy if you will, that I have stitched together in the form of a cassette, it is my cosmos.”

“My songs are teachings, experiences, and poetry about the musicality of sex and the sensuality of music in the most literal and metaphorical way. I’m trying to tell you what that means to me, and how I understand that phenomenon,” she adds.

Get into Satin Cassette by streaming and sharing on Spotify or wherever you enjoy listening to music! And remember to give her a follow on Instagram and YouTube.

Credits & Gratitude for Cigarette official music video✨
Executive Producer, Turunesh
Director, @jsu_cinema
Assistant Director, @lea.suela
DOP, @jbv.tv
1st AC, Mr. X
Editor, @ronanbryson
BTS Photographer @davidjackbarry
Creative Director, Turunesh
Arts Director & Stylist, @jennnerally
Colourist, soof Light
MUA, @shengtingmakeup
Hair Stylist, @akuvi.braids
Nails, @tatshaus & @nailsbyhonorine
Dancers, @athinasmoon & @brotha_jason
Cigarette is produced by @timlyre

Credits & Gratitude for Cigarette live performance
The Band
Drums: @chris.couto
Guitar: @oscargtpaul
Bass: @jeanseledoujet
Piano: @_andrewlo

Film & Sound Crew
*Executively produced & Art Direction by @turunesh.wav
*Director of Cinematography: @goodneighbour & @budsaurus
*Lights: @budsaurus
*Editor: @goodneighbour
*Behind the Scenes Photography: @jennnerally
*Set Design: @goodneighbour & @jennnerally
*Sound Engineer, Lead: @jaybagasbas
*Sound Engineer, Assist: @yosupcralo
*Make Up Artist: @shengtingmakeup
*Jewellery: @shengtingmakeup
*Hair: @akuvi.braids
*Location: @thegardenstrathcona

© Neshå Empire , 2021

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