Wande Coal & EMPIRE Share New Love-Tinged Video For “Umbrella”

the second single off the label's debut compilation album, 'Where We Come From (Vol. 1)'

EMPIRE has been consolidating on their wins, and rightly so. Over the past year the record label has worked with some of the biggest artists across the continent, establishing their name within discussions about Afropop and its influential stakeholders. Some weeks back, word about a compilation album from the San Francisco-based label went out. ‘Where We Come From’ got a great set-up when Kizz Daniel released the effervescent Cough (Odo) a fortnight ago to credible reception as it went number one on all streaming platforms. 


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Wande Coal is now set to extend the run of the project with a new single. Asides recently being in the news for getting his classic ‘Mushin 2 MoHits’ on streaming platforms, it’s been a while since the musician released solo music. All year through he’s collaborated with Olamide (“Hate Me”), BNXN (“Kenkele”) and Vector (“Mama Maradona”), his electric vocals typically forming the songs’ catchiest parts. “Umbrella” grants Wande Coal the luxury of space, and his magnetism doesn’t fail to leave an impression. 

Vibrant, colourful percussions lend a visceral feel to the production, and Wande Coal delivers sweet notes all through the three minutes run-time. Way back from the unforgettable “Ololufe,” he’s proven himself to be a master of love affirmations. Cooing assurances with a signature playful lilt, the veteran emerges with a record that oozes the timeless emotion of sacrifice “Umbrella is meant to celebrate love and how protective, special, and full of life it makes you feel,” he said, describing the song’s vision. The record is co-written by Grammy-nominated producer Sak Pase alongside additional contributions from Sean Kingston. 


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The Austin McCracken-directed visuals retain the song’s warm vibe, playing out in a number of scenes which are traditionally known for their lovely intimacy. In the opening scene Wande Coal plays on the piano as a wedding proceeds, the beautiful bridesmaids forming a lively backdrop. Guests and other relevant figures in the wedding contribute to the movement, while Wande Coal also showcases the famous dance steps that got him onto the radar of MoHits those many years ago. “If you say make I stay for love for oh, I go stay for love oh,” he repeatedly sings on the catchy chorus, embellishing the song’s later parts with signature adlibs. 

“It was an honour to sign Wande Coal,” said EMPIRE’s Vice President of A&R Tina Davies. “As a forefather of the Afro Fusion genre we wanted to make sure we highlighted him on this project. Outside of being an amazing person, he approaches this record from a pure place of love”. 

Wande Coal surely belongs in the pantheon of Afropop greats and this release only stokes more excitement for what EMPIRE has coming. Earlier revealing the album had been recorded in their San Francisco headquarter after The New Africa showcase which happened earlier this year. “Umbrella” taps from this communion of artists and sounds, and carried beautifully by its attendant visual, continues the phenomenal run-up of EMPIRE to their now highly anticipated compilation album. 

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