Kamaal Williams has offered a taste of his upcoming sophomore album Wu Hen with its funky first single “One More Time.”
The keyboardist’s new album follows his 2018 solo debut, The Return. Williams pays homage to his grandmother by using the nickname she affectionately gave him as the title, which also references his Taiwanese heritage that stretches back to the Wu Dynasty.
To undertake the record, Williams recruited drummer Greg Paul, Rick Leon James on bass, saxophonist Quinn Mason and Alina Bzhezhinska as a guest harpist. The group was completed by Flying Lotus collaborator Miguel Atwood-Ferguson on strings, rapper Mach-Hommy and R&B up-and-comer Lauren Faith all appearing on various songs across the LP.
“This is a revolution of the mind,” Williams declared in a statement about the album. “A spiritual rebellion: to reach new heights requires separating ourselves from the material world and finding power in what’s intangible. That’s what music and art is for—whether it’s a primitive emotion or something deep, you feel it. And there’s a subliminal element that resonates throughout my work. If you’re painting, it’s what you’re feeling as you’re painting. And the person looking at that artwork or listening to that music, they can feel it too, because it’s sincere.”
Wu Hen will be released on July 24 via Williams’ Black Focus label. Listen to “One More Time” below: