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Charlotte Krol
26 April 2023, 14:20

Charisse C and Koek Sista team up as The Ascension, share debut single, 'Khulula': Listen

A soothing amapiano single officially introduces the London-based duo

The Ascension pose with flowers in an April 2023 press shot
Credit: Shadin Kara

The Ascension have released their debut single ‘Khulula’ – check out the dreamy amapiano cut below.

Comprising Zimbabwe-born, UK-raised DJ and producer Charisse C, and South Africa-born, US-raised interdisciplinary artist and vocalist Koek Sista, The Ascension have introduced themselves with the single released via independent imprint Don’t Sleep.

The London-based duo's debut is produced by Sfarzo Rtee and features Koek Sista on lead vocals, with harmony contributions from Charisse C, Makhanj, S.O.N, and Reed. Koek Sista took inspiration for the tune from a lullaby that she sings to her son. The track’s chorus, which is sung in isiZulu, translates to “free my soul”.

The duo said of the song: “It beckons the listener to determine what kind of freedom they're in search of, undeniably a spiritual piece of music with just the right amount of isigubhu (bass drum) to keep every groovist on their feet.” 

Koek Sista and Charisse C formed after bonding during the pandemic over a shared passion for Southern African electronic music. “Meeting Charisse was an anchor for me,” Ulungile said. “We have a lot of similarities in how we think about life and sisterhood and art and the place of Black women in creative industries, so that foundation was always there.” 

Those values were translated into what has been described in press material as an “explosive” Boiler Room set last year, which led to a string of performances in London including at fabric, KOKO and the Southbank Centre. 

‘Khulula’ had its world exclusive play on Benji B’s BBC Radio 1 show earlier this month.

Revisit DJ Mag’s 2022 Get to Know interview with Charisse C here.