ZONKE meets YORK – The Early Tapes promo page

ZONKE meets YORK… When two talented artists from 2 different continents team up to create something beautiful. Their album together The Early Tapes is a groovy excursion through nu soul, acid jazz and soul-jazz, with ZONKE’s powerful vocals and producer-composer YORK’s magical touch…



TITLE: The Early Tapes

LABEL: Upper Level Records

RELEASE SATE: October 27th 2023

FORMAT: Digital


GENRE: nu soul / acid jazz / soul-jazz

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Singer-songwriter ZONKE first cut her teeth into the music industry with Culture Clan, an 8-piece hip-hop and soul band founded by composer-producer YORK and based between Germany and South Africa. The band went on to win 2 awards and wow audiences in South Africa, Europe, and abroad.

ZONKE’s style and voice are unmatched in terms of power and technique. In a short period of time, her talent became evident and undeniable and she firmly established herself as one of the coolest young afro-soul singers of southern Africa!

Fast forward a few years and the winning duo have reunited as ZONKE meets YORK, to release The Early Tapes, scheduled for release on October 27th via Upper Level Records. This wonderful collaboration of 2 extraordinary artists from 2 different continents has produced a series of warm and ear-friendly tunes from which their love of music appears evident.

The album was recorded with a number of great musicians using vintage instruments including strings and percussion. The end result is a musical journey between American nu soul, European acid jazz, with a pinch of African influences.

First single “Someday” immediately sets the tone for the album with a flirty sax and groovin’ beat on which ZONKE’s voice soars effortlessly. Second single “Wena Wedwa” is sung in Xhosa, a wonderful language that immediately transports the listener to South Africa. Third single “It’s Love” continues in this direction, once again with sax action provided by YORK, in perfect musical harmony with ZONKE’s feathery vocals. While “Only You” sees YORK provide a soulful flute backdrop to ZONKE’s velvety voice waxing lyrical on the topic of love. Final single “Walk On” is a groovy tune supported by Denise M’Baye on rap.

All in all, The Early Tapes delivers timelessly beautiful that is a must for all lovers of soul and groovy jazz.