"We had a practice performance in Dar es Salaam before the show in Zanzibar. I had all these bits of technology to set up because I wanted it to be electronic and have loads of little synths and drum machines at work. But as we were kicking off, the kit failed, so we were just improvising, free-styling on the spot. It went down well, everyone was jamming, no-one knew we had messed up. But I did. We went backstage, Mim looks me square in the face and says: ‘Ok, listen - rethink it. We’re going to my hometown though so it has to be special.’ I pulled myself together and reworked all the tracks; the whole structure of the band in a matter of days. That was the making of me.”
2014 - Present
"When I first discovered Mim's music I was blown away. It was this super groovy, super out-there afro acid tech. There were so many influences that I knew she was on another level, and that together we would take things to a whole other realm."
"What an amazing woman, what a special person."These are always the first words that leave Esa's mouth when you mention the name Mim Suleiman. It was the Summer of 2013 when he was approached by Santuri Safari - or Santuri East Africa as they are now known - to work on a new kind of project in Zanzibar. This vibrant underground network became an influential authority in Esa's own development as an artist, and also paved the way for his first collaboration with singer and activist Suleiman when he was tasked with putting a live show together for the Sauti za Basura festival on the island. The catch: he was in charge and they had one week to rehearse. The outcome? A whirlwind adventure full of sleepless nights, early rises, failing synth machines, and unfailing trust. Seven years on, and several gigs later, this powerhouse duo remains glued at the hip.