&friends is the musical concept and brainchild of New York-based Sean Thomas. Drawing the breadth of his inspiration for these musical works from the African Diaspora, Thomas had a vision to create a project embodying tradition, culture, and community culminating in the coining of &friends.
Through a journey fueled by passion, determination, and drive, Thomas set out to foster meaningful connections – first with his best friend and music producer, Michael Scheinker, as well as with creators all over the continent of Africa. Through a thoughtfully produced and artfully composed compilation of works, &friends is set to make an impact on the music community through a holistic, multifaceted approach; and further the mission that sound unites us all from every corner of the globe.
“My biggest passion: curating containers, spaces, evoking emotion and experiences through sound. There is nothing I want more in life than to connect with the unexpected, to fall deeply into curiosity and freedom of expression” – &friends
Today, &friends makes its debut with Afro-House single, “Gbagbe e” ft. Oluwadamvic, which translates to “Let Go,” “Forget it” in West African native language Yoruba, released on Thomas’s newly minted Hidden Hands label. It’s easy to hear the heart and soul that Thomas poured into this single, alongside vocalist Oluwadamvic, who together seem to bring out the best in each other. From the earthy melodies to thumping, hypnotic groove, “Gbagbe e” is a song that you can count on standing the test of time.
Exacting on the project’s mission to give back to and amplify the voices of a global community, 10% of proceeds from streaming royalties accumulated across &friends releases will be donated to Uganda-based charitable foundation Masaka Kids Africana. Empowering local cultures and giving back to the homes of the voices his music celebrates, &friends intention goes beyond the music it releases.