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A Shoal of Souls Tee
Artist
Yazz Ahmed
Label
IXCHEL
Release Date
12 December 2019

The release of ‘A Shoal of Souls’ cements the formidable relationship that has been established between Yazz and Sophie Bass. Sophie is one of the most exciting illustrators currently operating worldwide; still in her twenties, her enlivening work across the Jazz scene has already sparked comparisons with Reid Miles. Music is intrinsic to Sophie’s creative process, fuelling her distinctive style that embodies symbolism and social justice. On seeing her music visually “come alive” Yazz was overwhelmingly inspired to create.

“I was already thinking about the migrants who perished at sea when I named the chapter The Shoal of Souls, and this new composition is dedicated to all the people who have lost their lives crossing the sea in search of a better future.

I hope the music conveys the strength and power of the human spirit, the bravery to risk everything for their families, the anger I feel at the response of the West, a lack of empathy, a lack of compassion. They are not a swarm, they are us - humans.

The music is also inspired by Sufism, the idea of whirling and turning, falling into a trance, a dream. I see a mirror with the whirling turning ocean, a whirlpool of lost souls, of untold stories, talents and lives unfulfilled: joining together in the eternal dance and rhythm of a vast shoal of fish which seems to beat like a heart.”

To make these T-shirts we have also teamed up with No Sweat, a grassroots campaign group that looks to build solidarity workers’ solidarity, standing against workplace exploitation and modern sweatshop labour.

‘No Sweat ethical t-shirts are made in workers’ co-ops, where workers earn a living wage and have democratic control over their work, the profits raised from the t-shirt are put back into the campaign, and help fund independent trade unions, to fight for the rights of workers facing exploitation.’

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Yazz Ahmed

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