SLY5TH.AVE. is the alter ego of envelope pushing Texan muso Sylvester Onyejiaka whose influences, he says, are West African music, soul and jazz. A graduate of the University of North Texas, he’s been on the scene for a while and worked with people like Philip Lassiter, Prince’s New Power Generation, Stevie Wonder, The Dave Brubeck Quartet, Janelle Monáe and Quantic. That list should help you contextualize him.
His latest project is a collaboration with pianist and composer Roberto Verástegui. The pair originally met whilst studying jazz in Texas and began piecing their music together after they visited Mexico, drinking Agua de Jamaica – a drink made with water, hibiscus flower and sugar. That drink gave them the name for their collaborative album …. ‘Agua de Jamaica’, from which they’ve just released the first single, ‘El Momento’, an intriguing and in places, poignant melding of soul, jazz and electronica with a beguiling cinematic sweep.
The single is out now. The ‘Agua de Jamaica’ album wins release on March 25th.