New Music: Ben Esser teams up with emawk on "Stripes"

a refreshing return to the spotlight for the Berlin-based artist


Lekker Collective

Download: Promo Images / Track

'a hazy piece of soul perfectly fitted for those days spent bathing in sunlight creeping in through closed curtains' - Complex

Berlin-based producer Ben Esser releases first single in two years with "Stripes".

Created with New York based emawk and UK guitar wunderkind Beau Diako, "Stripes" is a seamless collaborative gem which perfectly encapsulates "raw moments of pure inspiration".

"Whilst working with Beau on his upcoming EP, we had loads small melody fractions that needed to be developed into full songs. Around the same time my good friend Donna (Lekker Collective) showed me emawk's track ’18’, which I fell hopelessly inlove with. When visiting NYC earlier this year emawk (Kwame) and I linked up and started working on one of the little snippets I'd created with Beau 'til like 5am - paving the foundation for the song."

Esser is cautious not to overcomplicate or overproduce the music, with "Stripes" touting a refreshing simplicity. emawk's play on harmony, layering and scatting throughout his vocal performance lends something truly unique to the track, heralding a welcome return for Esser's artist project and an excitement for what his specific brand of electronic RnB will sound like moving forward.

I always try to incorporate analog gear and ‘real’ performance. There’s something about the human performance that we immediately connect with. Almost all the sounds on ’Stripes’ come from organic or analog sources and in combination with Kwame’s voice blend perfectly together - Ben Esser

After his breakout debut single "Love You More", the prolific producer has taken a backseat with his own project in order to help other artists hone their sound - resulting most notably in Noah Slee's critically acclaimed debut album "Otherland" (Majestic Casual / Wondercore Island).



Since being exposed to a range of different music in his childhood years, classically trained pianist and producer Ben Esser continually strives to find the emotional root in the music he creates.

Moving to Berlin in the summer of 2015, Esser's musical horizons were expanded after being introduced to RnB artist Noah Slee, who became an important musical mentor and eventually collaborator, evolving the idea of producing and composing with other artists into actuality.

Since then, Esser has worked with an eclectic mix of artists across genres. From Wayne Snow, Jordan Rakei,, James Chatburn, Izzy Bizu, Alxndr London, German rapper Kelvyn Colt, US rapper Denzel Curry, New Zealand RnB songstress Bailey Wiley, BLVTH, Drunken Masters and Portugal. the Man, just to name a few.

Like most people I owe a lot of my early musical memories to my parents. Early records that got played around the house range from ‘2001 (Dr. Dre)’, ‘De La Soul Is Dead’ (De La Soul), ‘The Score’ (Fugees) and records by Steve Reich, Kraftwerk and Billie Holiday. I feel like that this variety gave me the tools I still come back to everyday when making music. The term ‘genre’ lost most of it’s meaning for me early on and I really enjoy artists the most who keep surprising me with their unexpected musical paths.


Boston born, Nairobi raised, and (now) New York based R&B artist emawk is one that doesn't conform to any one production style. His poetic lyrics, textured production and out-of-the-box song structures, has brought him accolades from tastemakers such Majestic Casual and Complex, as well as Spotify playlist placements stemming from breakthrough single "18".


British producer/writer and guitarist Beau Diako blends his colourful and unique guitar style with a sound palette of indie, jazz and neo soul.

As a self-taught musician on the south coast of England, he found himself taking influence from a diverse range of artists and genres.

Following success with previous projects Zoology and Pigarette, and years of collaborations with artists such as Tennyson, Lido, Jordan Rakei, Galimatias and many more, Beau brings together some of his favourite vocalists for his debut solo release.

May 23, 2020 3:07pm ET by Lekker Collective  

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