Tenderlonious named his 22a label after his house number in Peckham, SE London. The label was set up in 2013 to put out beats and sounds being made by a group of friends that needed to be heard outside their Peckham collective.
Most musicians that are part of the 22a family all share a common exploration into worldly sounds, with most of them having grown up in and around the UK but with familial links elsewhere. Instrumentalists, percussionists, vocalists, these beat-makers are a close-knit group that have grown to influence each other but are not exclusive to the 22a label. Mo Kolours, Jeen Bassa, Henry Wu, Dennis Ayler, all have side groups or their own labels but founder Tenderlonious is all about sharing the music love so there is a culture of support between these old friends that doesn’t hold them exclusively to the 22a label. Tenderlonious has released his own material and his quartet Ruby Rushton material on 22a but has also released on the UK Sounds of the Universe and Osunlade’s Yoruba labels.
According to Tenderlonious, there’s enough to go around for all:
“The music is just there in abundance. These guys provide the most amazing hub of beautiful music. There’s never a shortage.”
- Tenderlonius – Song For My Father (2016)
- Jeen Bassa – All My People (2015)
- One of three brothers on the 22a label (alongside Mo Kolours and Reginald Omas Mamode IV), producer Jeen Bassa’s debut solo release on 22a in 2015 is an EP dominated by percussive beats, soul-jazz grooves and sampled vocals that transcends continents, time and genres. A “future rare-groove” EP with an old soul.
- Henry Wu feat. Dziko – All Over It (2014)
- Henry Wu aka Kamaal Williams is a Peckham-raised producer & keys player. An original of the 22a collective but only releasing one EP on Tenderlonious’ label, Wu is an explorer of the nu-jazz world, keeping his musical options wide open; releasing with various labels, in various groups and solo projects. Alongside his solo releases on Rhythm Section, his recent most popular projects include WU15 (alongside other London-based producer K15) on Alexander Nut’s label Eglo, and outfit Yussef Kamaal with jazz-drummer Yussef Dayes (Gilles Petersen’s Brownswood label released their ‘Black Focus’ LP in 2016). After splitting with Dayes beginning of 2017, Henry’s new group under alias Kamaal Williams includes drummer MckNasty, and 22a head honcho Tenderlonious on saxophone.