Rising mega-talent Tenderlonious is head of 22a Music, the record label at the forefront of a new wave of young London-based musicians.
Rising mega-talent Tenderlonious is head of 22a Music, the record label at the forefront of a new wave of young London-based musicians. A gifted multi-instrumentalist, his improvised soul-flavoured productions have caught the attention of tastemakers Gilles Peterson, Benji B, Osunlade, Lefto and Alexander Nut to name a few. Aside from his own label he has also released music on Ninja Tune, Brownswood Recordings, Sounds Of The Universe and Yoruba Records.
The innovative and forward thinking artist spent his early years split between Germany and Cyprus before coming to the UK in the 90's. Settling for South London, Tenderlonious met his mentor, dance producer, Equinox (Scientific Wax, Planet Mu) who set him on a path of music production. His skills in the studio soon became apparent, coupled together with his ability to play a wide range of instruments, this led him to work with a diverse set of UK artists.
It was at his family home in Woking where 22a was born, his debut split release with Al Dobson Jr was hand stamped on his kitchen table. The highly respected Sounds Of The Universe record shop quickly snapped up the release to sell exclusively and these sold out in a week. Word spread on the underground and this hype lead to a further three, well received releases on 22a from Henry Wu, Mo Kolours, Reginald Omas Mamode IV and Jeen Bassa.
Fast forward three years and it can be said with certainty that Tenderlonious has firmly established himself as a leading figure on the underground scene. Releases like ‘Bob’s Riddim’ and his recent ‘On Flute’ EP have been met with rave reviews worldwide and have demonstrated the diversity of his musicianship, not to mention his infamous solo live performances – there are flutes and synths a plenty! Now into 2017 there is a live album in the pipeline, due for release later this year, as well as a collaborative project between him and his cousin Dennis Ayler. Listeners can also expect a second studio album from his band Ruby Rushton, who will be headlining The Jazz Café in May for their much anticipated album launch – not to be missed!
Words by Rodriguez Guido