In the spring of 2020, the jazz world, and music world-at-large for that matter, lost the legendary Afrobeat artist Tony Allen. A genre and generation-defining drummer, Tony Allen spent all of the year prior to his death composing all of the beats for what would be his next project. With the groundwork laid before his passing, the album, entitled There Is No End, is set for release via Blue Note on April 30th, the one-year anniversary of Allen’s passing.
The 14-track LP was produced by Allen, as well as Vincent Taeger and Vincent Taurelle. Damon Albarn is set to make an appearance on the album, marking yet another collaboration between himself and Tony Allen, after the drummer appeared on the Gorillaz track “How Far?” in 2020. Additional guests will include Skepta, Danny Brown, Sampa the Great, and others.
Blue Note released the album’s first single “Cosmosis” (feat. Skepta and Ben Okiri) in accompaniment with the album’s announcement. Okiri, an award-winning poet, wrote his lyrics for the song after Allen’s death. He shared the following statement about Allen in a press release: “This man could have lived another 150 years and kept creating new worlds. He had become the master shaman of his art. He knew himself and his mind.”
Allen spoke about his desire to work with younger artists prior to his death, saying, “I want to take care of youngsters; they have messages and I want to bring them on my beat. The idea is to transmit to the young generation, to mix different universes — the hip hop world to the Afrobeat world.”
There Is No End will be released on April 30th via Blue Note. Listen to the album’s lead single “Cosmosis” (feat. Skepta and Ben Okiri) below.