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Otis Mensah Otis Mensah to unveil new "sonic-poetic project" in Sheffield

New album WINTERSKIN to debut at Sidney & Matilda this Friday alongside guests Philippa Zawe and MYNA.

Screenshot 2023 10 24 170330

Sheffield's first Poet Laureate and long-time friend of Now Then Otis Mensah is set to premiere his latest major project in Sheffield this Friday.

WINTERSKIN, a new seven-song album that Mensah says is "imbued with ballad-like emotion, shyness and claustrophobia" will be performed in full for the first time at Sidney & Matilda.

The rapper, writer and performance poet will be supported on the night with a special performance from singer-songwriter Philippa Zawe and a DJ set from local hero MYNA.

Mensah told Now Then that the project was inspired by "a delve into the notion of the body as a vehicle for dreaming and the delicate lines between the beauty and fragility of our internal lives."

"The interplay between tender vocals and aesthetic poetry creates an atmosphere that is ethereal with the lingering remittance of another world,” he continued.

The musician drew inspiration for the album, the latest addition to an extensive discography, from artists including Moor Mother, Yves Tumor, and Noname.

It also features production from Jackie Moonbather, ‘the intern’ and seigfried komidashi, as well as the artist himself.

Tracks such as ‘Sound Of Sleep’ feature Sheffield resident Mensah’s signature blend of fast-paced storytelling and erudite verses, while the opening title track finds him experimenting with his own form of a capella folk singing.

In 2018, former Lord Mayor Magid Magid appointed the then-23 year old as Sheffield’s first Poet Laureate, telling the Guardian that he “represents all that is great about Sheffield – he’s dynamic, skilful and radical.”

Learn more

Otis Mensah performs WINTERSKIN at Sidney & Matilda on Friday 27 October. Tickets are £11.

Sidney & Matilda has level access to most areas of the venue. It has a level access toilet.

by Sam Gregory (he/him)

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