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Fatima Eglo Records
(Photo by Sebastian Hallqvist)

Ever since Swedish-born London-transplant Fatima debuted on heralded Eglo Records in 2010 with her EP Mind Travellin’, the world has been waiting for a full-length album from the captivating soul singer.

After rumors that the record would drop some time last summer, she whet our appetites instead with a couple of preview singles: the Computer Jay-produced “Circle,” and, most recently, the double A-side “Family” / “La Neta” single produced by London beatsmith Flako.

But now her full-length solo record, Yellow Memories is finally complete, and ready for an official May 12 release. No stranger to top notch collaborations (her discography includes 2012’s buzz-inducing “Phone Line” with label-mate FunkinEven and “Warm Eyes” blessed by the one and only Dâm-Funk), the new record features beats from Eglo co-founder Floating Points, Knxwledge, Scoop DeVille, Madlib’s brother Oh No and the aforementioned Computer Jay and Flako.

They haven’t released a full album sampler online yet, as they’re keeping this one pretty close to the vest, but here’s the full tracklist:

1. Do Better – Prod. Floating Points
2. Technology – Prod. Oh No
3. Circle – Prod. Computer Jay ft. Shafiq Husayn
4. Sun, Star, Solar
5. Ridin Round (Sky High) – Prod. Scoop DeVille
6. Family – Prod. Flako
7. La neta – Prod. Flako
8. Biggest Joke Of All – Prod. Floating Points
9. Underwater – Prod. Floating Points
10. Rest In Peace
11. Talk – Prod. Floating Points
12. Gave Me My Name – Prod. Floating Points

Last week, we sat down with Fatima in Williamsburg, where she’s been on an extended stay visiting her boyfriend and photographer Sebastian Hallqvist.

Before embarking on a citywide search for kicks for her little brother, she generously took some time to chat with us over tea about her new album, the making of her touring band, her home-away-from-home at London’s premier tastemaker parties, and the creative freedoms of being part of the Eglo family.

You can read edited excerpts from the interview below. She’s also touring to support the new record, with an official album launch with her full band May 6 at Camden’s Jazz Cafe and an opening performance at the Outlook Festival in Croatia opening up for one of her idols, Lauryn Hill. Her full performance schedule follows the interview.

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Lil Tiger: Folks have been anticipating your new album, Yellow Memories, for years now. What took so long for this record to come out?

Fatima: I mean, I had to live! Can I live? [laughing]

No, basically I’ve been working on it for about, on and off, like two years … ish, because the record was made in between two cities. So, it had to involve some of my travels, too. I’ve been based in London the past seven years. I went out to L.A., too, to work with some people as well. Everything just takes its time, because I haven’t really said to all these producers, “Let’s meet up during this particular time and just work work work.” It’s sort of been really organic. It’s like, I went out to L.A., tried to hook up with some peoples, took a little bit of time to get hold of some [of them]. I had to make sure our schedules fit and all this stuff. You know, it’s really grown organically like that. So I think that’s what made it take a little time.

Plus, at some point, I had a little bit of writer’s block. I had to wait a bit for that to pass, so the people had to wait. [laughing] That’s why it took its time. And then we had to sort out loads of just politics of stuff, paperwork, and things like that. All of those things in combination made it take time. But that’s what it is, if you’re trying to work on something and also come up with something that feels like quality—I don’t want to just throw something together for the sake of it. And plus, it’s my debut album, so I wanted to make sure it was right.

LT: You’re on Alexander Nut and Floating Point’s Eglo Records, which is not your typical label. It’s very hand-selected as far as who they choose to put out. What is it like being on Eglo and how did that help your album get created the way you wanted it to get created?

Being that Eglo is an independent label, it’s just a small operation—a few people that I’m in contact with, if not everyday, than just every other day. It’s not like I’m lost in the midst of 1,000 artists on a massive label and I gotta talk to that person to talk to that person to get to the person I really want to speak to. It’s really direct. And you get creative freedom.

Sure, Eglo has got some say in things, and if they don’t feel a certain tune that I want to put out, they gonna tell me, you know, being honest and all that. I can’t do exactly 100% always what I want, ’cause it’s like you gotta meet in the middle sometimes. But, overall, it’s free and that’s what I like about it. I think that’s what a lot of people that’s on independent labels like. ‘Cause you don’t have to change to fit into a certain mold or whatever. That’s what I like.

LT: It’s more of a family than a record label.

Fatima: Yeah, it’s not just a bunch of strangers. It’s not just all business. It’s people that know each other. So it automatically becomes like that.

LT: What can people expect from Yellow Memories?

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