Idehen is a firm favourite of the music industry” – Clash Magazine

Widely celebrated for his powerful musings on identity and politics” – Trench

Tipped as one to watch across the music press” – Notion

Striking whilst the iron is hot, having just commenced his support tour with The Comet Is Coming, as well as announcing his own UK headline tour, Joshua Idehen released his debut solo mixtape “Learn To Swim”, this April 21st

Despite the mixtape being Idehen’s first solo project, the wordsmith already has a wealth of tracks to prop up the release of “Learn To Swim”. Having previously released collaborative projects with LV on “Routes”, “Islands” and “Dub Ends” and Daedelus on “Holy Water over Sons” (as featured in the Guardian), Idehen was also a founding member in bands Benin City, Hugh and Calabashed, his musical manifestations are endless.

To accompany the success of these releases are many applaudable accolades to Idehen’s name, including being recognised by NME as a ‘One To Watch’, having contributed vocals to two mercury award winning albums, worked alongside Kojey Radical, D Double E, Sons of Kemet, Jordan Stephens (of Rizzle Kicks), and supported Jacob Banks as a solo artist, to close Idehen’s very enviable 2022.

Learn To Swim” takes shape around 10 individually characterised tracks, from the whirring beat and gospel undertones of “Don’t You Give Up On Me”, to the playful, percussion-layered offering of “Best Kind Of Lost”, the project displays the innate musicality and natural versatility of Joshua Idehen. Remaining consistent throughout, is Idehen’s distinct spoken-word delivery, affirmative, yet reassuring, his vocality invoking sincerity and trust in his narrative.

Speaking on the mixtape, Idehen explains; ““Learn to Swim” is collection of songs written and recorded in the middle months of 2021, around the same time, I started learning to swim. I’d convinced myself my bones were too dense to float, and actually, they are, so I’d given up for decades, until an old Swedish teacher told me “so you’re not a jellyfish, you’re a shark, keep moving or die “. Still can’t float, but I’m still learning.”

In more depth, Joshua digresses; “All the lyrics in this album were based off the darkest period of my life, just after my divorce in 2017 and the years after. I had gone down a self-destructive path and would definitely not be here today, were it not for the friends who came to my aid when I needed them most. Although I did come out of the experience extremely bitter and vexed at all the real and imagined injustices I’d faced! I’d written a lot of angry, rant poetry about the world, the UK, mydepression; flaming out, iI guess. It was only until 2020, just after the George Floyd protests, that the anger that fuelled me for so long was somewhat calmed, and I came to a new place of thinking- that I had to do something positive with all the bad in me, and the bad around me. Thinking also about thestate of the world and feeling “I’m not reaching who I want to reach if I’m ranting all the time.

I’m asking to be heard, and understood, how can I do that better?” Writing poetry that spoke of flaws and failures, true, but also spoke on redemption, and forgiveness, and the potential goodness in everyone that – in the ultra-tense times – we often forget exists in all of us. This realisation was more reinforced by the birth of my daughter. As someone who came from a far from perfect family, I had an urgent need to not pass down any traumas I’d inherited unto her. And showing her how to be kind, to herself and others. In ways I’m still learning how cuz I’d not been taught, and how to be fearless, do things she once thought impossible, like learn to swim, age 40.”

Track List

1. Don’t You Give Up On Me
2. This World’s A Madness
3. Best Kind Of Lost
4. What We’re Doing Tonight
5. Learn To Swim Part One
6. Last Time
7. Unfold
8. End Of The Line
9. I Got You Every Step Of The Way (For Leone Ross)
10. All The Same

Idehen’s lust for life has resonated with fans and critics alike with compliments on earlier releases from:
The Times, The Telegraph, Clash Magazine, Mixmag, Notion, Afropunk, Trench, Beats Per Minute, Nothing But Hope and Passion as Joshua’s lyrical compassion and colourful instrumentation asserts him as a special talent.

Idehen collaborates with some of the most recognisable talents in the scene on his releases, with Ludvig Parment taking centre stage on production, meanwhile in the live sense, Idehen is joined by Sharlene Hector (Basement Jazz), Cleveland Watkiss (MBE), Heidi Vogel (Cinematic Orchestra) and Ade Omotayo (Amy Winehouse), the result is unsurprisingly stunning.

The “Learn To Swim” mixtape lands amidst Joshua’s support tour with jazz, electronica, funk and psychedelic rock warping trio The Comet Is Coming, which took himself and the project to key cities across the UK, including two nights at London’s Koko. Shortly after, Idehen embarked on his own UK headline tour, commenced on the 7th April 2023.

TOUR: The Comet Is Coming
Main support: Joshua Idehen

FEBRUARY 28- Feb 28th, O2 Institute Birmingham
MARCH 1 – Boiler Shop, Newcastle
MARCH 2 – The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen
MARCH 3 – St. Luke’s, Glasgow
MARCH 4 – Invisible Wind Factory, Liverpool
MARCH 9 – Rock City, Nottingham
MARCH 11 – SWX, Bristol
MARCH 14 – Engine Rooms, Southampton
MARCH 15 – Chalk, Brighton
MARCH 16 – Koko, London
MARCH 17 – Koko, London

TOUR: Joshua Idehen UK Headline

APRIL 7TH – New Lion Brewery, Totnes, UK.
APRIL 8TH – Wanderfal Festival, Falmouth, UK.
JUNE 6TH – YES Basement, Manchester, UK.
JUNE 8TH – Ivy House, London, UK.
JUNE 9TH – Rose Hill , Brighton, UK.
JUNE 10TH – Brighten The Corners Festival, Ipswich, UK.


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