Teenage cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason has recorded a striking new version of the Bob Marley reggae classic ‘No Woman, No Cry’, which has gone viral.
Having been first released last Friday, 5 January, the track has exploded on the Spotify Viral Charts. At the time of writing, the track is at No.12 on the chart and is still climbing. It is presently in the Top 10 Spotify charts in the US, UK, Australia, Canada and Sweden and has so far racked up 170,000 streams: a figure which continues to rise.
‘No Woman, No Cry’ is taken from Sheku Kanneh-Mason’s debut album, Inspiration, which will be released through Decca Classics on 26 January 2018. The album allows the bright new classical music star to pay tribute to the mentors and heroes who have spurred him on during his extraordinary journey, from Jacqueline du Pré to Pablo Casals’s ‘Sardana’ – performed with fellow cellist and BBC Young Musician winner Guy Johnston – and a new arrangement of the ever-popular ‘Hallelujah’, as performed by Kanneh-Mason at the BAFTA Awards.
Prior to the success of ‘No Woman, No Cry’, Kanneh-Mason won the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition, becoming the first black winner in the competition’s 38-year history. Kanneh-Mason’s emotive version of Shostakovich’s ‘Cello Concerto No.1’ earned him the prize and it also forms Inspiration’s centrepiece: the album’s recording taken from live performances with the City Of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and its dynamic young Music Director, Mirga Gražinyitė-Tyla, at Symphony Hall, Birmingham, and the Royal Concert Hall in Kanneh-Mason’s home city, Nottingham.
Having started to play the cello at the age of six, Sheku Kanneh-Mason passed Grade 8 at nine with the highest marks in Britain. He then performed with his siblings on Britain’s Got Talent, and appeared with his incredibly musical family (all six of his siblings play instruments) in a BBC Four documentary Young, Gifted and Classical: The Making Of A Maestro.
Now the Junior Ambassador for music education charity London Music Masters, Kanneh-Mason says: “I would love to inspire more diversity in young people taking up classical music. It would be a really wonderful thing if I could be a role model in that way.”
Inspiration is released on 26 January. Order it here.