Theon Cross brings big bass to jazz in ‘The Spiral’ ft. Afronaut Zu and Ahnansé

"It was important for me to include a nod to the culture of sound systems because this song and my album are all about showcasing a sound system powered by breath, via the passageways of the tuba."

08.09.21, Words by: Maisie Goulsbra

Tubist, composer and key player in London’s thriving jazz scene, Theon Cross just released single ‘The Spiral’, which features Rudimental’s live vocalist Afronaut Zu and Steam Down’s frontman Ahnansé. The track’s moody coolness is translated visually by director Roisin O and Eden Tarn in a striking music video that features drummer Moses Boyd among the dim-lit psychedelia, who makes an appearance beside other family and friends of Theon.

Theon has worked with names like Jon Batiste, Emile Sande, Little Simz, Stormzy, Nubya Garcia, and others, plus he maintains his place as a core member of Mercury nominated Sons of Kemet, and plays live with Kano. His bass-heavy new single ‘The Spiral’ is the first listen from his forthcoming album ‘Intra-I’, which sits in line with the tidal wave of UK Jazz and its simultaneous get-up-and-dance determinedness.

‘Intra-I’ is set to be “an uplifting celebration of Black music that helps to redefine the sonic possibilities of the tuba,” according to Theon. The record will include additional features from Remi Graves, Shumba Maasai, Consensus and Oren Marshall – it is the first of Cross’ music to include collaborations with guest vocalists.

Theon recently performed as an avatar at SXSW 2021 (above) and with his acclaimed 2019 LP ‘Fyah’, which rose to no.1 in the UK Jazz & Blues Chart, he was nominated for awards by Jazz FM and Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide FM. A graduate of Guildhall School of Music, and an alumni of Gary Crosby OBE’s legendary Tomorrow’s Warriors, Theon is also someone who has redefined his instrument.

He says: “Big thanks to all of the amazing people involved in the making of ‘The Spiral’. It was important for me to include a nod to the culture of sound systems because this song and my album are all about showcasing a sound system powered by breath, via the passageways of the tuba.” ‘Intra-I’ is due for release on the 29th October.

Watch the new music video for ‘The Spiral’ below or listen on your preferred service here.

Read next: The 10 Best Saxophone Infused Tracks, according to Venna.

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