Femi Koloseo is chief beatmaker in Afrobeat, reggae and hip-hop infused jazz five-piece Ezra Collective

Femi Koleoso knows the power of rhythm. When you catch the drummer live it’s clear that it surges through him, a life force, an energy distilled down into a pulse, that sublime repetition providing a bedrock for whatever comes on top

When Clash catches the musician he’s taking a break from the road. One of the creative forces behind sought-after London jazz outfit Ezra Collective, Femi is also the long-standing drummer in Jorja Smith’s live group, watching the singer’s rise at first hand

"I want to go out and do justice to the music with all of my heart. That’s my thing!"

“I love it!” he exclaims. “My favourite thing about this at the moment is just that I consider Jorja to be a real friend, and it’s been really beautiful to see the growth of the whole thing. I was there when we were doing 50 capacity venues in Manchester, we didn’t really have enough space for the drum kit! So to see her sell out Shepherds Bush – twice! - the same month as she’s just put out a track on the Black Panther soundtrack album… it’s all moving positive. It’s good vibes, I’m happy!”

It’s been an incredibly natural process, Clash observes; nothing about Jorja’s rise has felt artificial. “Do you know what, though?” he points out. “When you’ve got talent at that level it will always be organic the way things grow.”