23 people to watch in 2023: Eki’Shola, musical artist

Eki’Shola’s music has been described as “jazzy electronica,” though it’s not necessarily specific to any genre.|

For more people to watch in 2023, go here.

Name: Eki’Shola

Title or position: Musical artist

Age: 45

On the job since: 2016

Hometown: Born in London, but now lives in Santa Rosa

Why Eki’Shola is someone to watch:

Eki’Shola creates music that heals others — something that’s in her nature having trained and worked as a physician.

After the 2019 Sonoma County fires, she left a career in internal medicine to focus full time on music as an outlet for her emotions. She and her family narrowly escaped the blaze, which destroyed her home and medical practice. Transitioning fully to music was her way, as a singer and pianist, to help others deal with the damage wrought by the devastating fires.

Eki’Shola’s music has been described as “jazzy electronica,” though it’s not necessarily specific to any genre. Since her first performance at Sebastopol’s HopMonk in 2015, she’s performed in London, New York City and across the Bay Area. In 2020, she released “Essential,” the final part of her “Pieces” musical trilogy, which focused on topical issues like climate change, the pandemic and Black Lives Matter advocacy. In February 2021, she launched Unmute Magazine, a publication meant to amplify the voices of underrepresented creatives. In 2023, she plans to help curate shows and events with marginalized artists as the headliners, similar to the production “Powersoul,” which she and Bay Area musician Kayatta Patton debuted in September to highlight local Black women hip-hop and R&B artists. And she’s already at work on a new album, “かえる,” (which means “to return” or “to go home” in Japanese), that is planned to drop in the winter.

What others are saying about Eki’Shola:

“Eki’Shola is a healer in a way that’s indescribable. Her lyrics point out things we need to look at within ourselves and in our society,” Lee Vandeveer, local musical artist and a friend of Eki’Shola. “Artists help cultures navigate treacherous moments in time; to unwind it all requires someone willing to guide. Eki’Shola is one of the guides in our community. Through Eki’s music and events, she’s inviting us to heal in profound ways.”

What Eki’Shola says about 2023:

“Music and art can be tools for action. We need to think beyond putting on shows and events for BIPOC artists. How do we bridge art, music and entertainment to change social and environmental injustices? We’re going to be more intentional in 2023.”

You can reach Staff Writer Mya Constantino at mya.constantino@pressdemocrat.com. @searchingformya on Twitter.

Mya Constantino

General Assignment/Features Reporter

Stories can inspire you, make you laugh, cry and sometimes, heal. I love a feature story that can encapsulate all of those things. I cover the interesting people that exist around us, art and music that move us and the hidden gems that make Sonoma County pretty cool. Let's explore those things together.

For more people to watch in 2023, go here.

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