Hejira have developed a reputation for creating intelligent, soulful, genre-evaporating music that is equally at home in a concert hall as on a club or festival stage. The band formed in 2010 setting up their studio ‘The House of Dreams’ in South-East London where they would write, rehearse, record and film. It was through this hive of activity that Hejira attracted the ears of Matthew Herbert who soon became involved in the production of their recordings. Released on Accidental Records in October 2013, their debut ‘Prayer Before Birth’ received high critical acclaim from the likes of Alexis Petridis at The Guardian. The album was launched with a filmed live concert at the Round Chapel in London featuring an 18-piece ensemble that included a choir and trombone section.
In 2015 Hejira released their ‘Name Surname’ EP on Floating Points’ Eglo Records imprint and continued to curate their successful ‘TRAUM’ events around London which saw performances from the likes of The Invisible, Micachu, Kwabs and Oliver Coates. That same year Hejira were commissioned to write a composition for the London Sinfonietta as part of a project curated by Matthew Herbert called ‘Notes to the new government’. More recently, Hejira have received commissions from Nick Luscombe (BBC Radio 3 Late Junction presenter and DJ) to write a piece for his Musicity project and from the Spitalfields Music Festival where the band were invited to arrange and perform a piece for the Schumann Street event curated by Andre de Ridder.
In early 2016 the band travelled to Ethiopia together and the experiences from their journey would go on to be the central inspiration for 2017 EP ‘The Lima Limo Ceremony’ and their forthcoming LP ‘Thread of Gold’. The trip saw Hejira’s Rahel travel the length and breadth of the country over the course of several weeks before being joined by fellow band members Sam and Alex in the capital Addis Ababa. Here they spent ten days together exploring the city, meeting family, checking out live music, and writing new material. Upon their return to London, the band entered into a prolific phase of creativity, fleshing out ideas that they had begun in Ethiopia, as well as writing new music from scratch as a means of digesting what they had experienced. The resulting work explores themes of migration, identity and the process of coming to terms with the loss of a father.
‘The Lima Limo Ceremony’ EP was released in early 2017 on Hejira’s Lima Limo Records imprint. The energetic lead single ‘I Don’t Belong To Anyone’ brought the band to the attention of new listeners and industry personnel and led to the band being awarded PRSF Momentum funding for the release of their forthcoming album. Other highlights of 2017 included a trip to Algeria at the invitation of the British Council and a performance at the V&A curated by Boiler Room. Hejira’s central focus for 2018 is to build towards the release of their forthcoming LP ‘Thread of Gold’.