Lorella texted me this morning and asked me if I’d heard Idris Elba’s new song. I told her I hadn’t and that I didn’t want to. Because…well…

You’ve seen his Private Garden before, right?

Look. I’d love a situation in which my private garden and Idris Elba are having a conversation but this…was not what I had in mind a few years ago when I first wrote about it:

But then Lorella clarified that she’d heard the new song on the radio in London and it was good. Then I turned on my laptop and there are fresh photos of him out last night at Naomi Campbell’s Fashion For Relief launch at Westfield.

So I went looking for the new music.

He’s put out an album called mi Mandela, “a celebration of South African music inspired by Nelson Mandela”. In an interview with the Guardian, he says he totally gets why people might be wary of his other career:

“There’s a huge stigma attached to actors or musicians crossing over from one side to the other. No one likes to see it. ‘Stay where you are!’ I did worry that it might water down how people see what I do as an actor,” he continues, but now issues of credibility don’t bother him so much. “Because my music is so much more truthful about my art – me – than my acting is. Music comes from my soul. I can connect with you more through my music.”

It’s quite an insightful piece. Click here to read about the genesis of the project and how it came together, what his influences were and how this time it’s different, not what we heard in the Private Garden.

He’s right.

As is Lorella. I’ve just listened to a couple of the songs and you know what? It’s good. I’ve attached a couple of jams below. Click here and scroll to the bottom to listen to more.