Mos Def, now living in Cape Town and collaborating with South African singer Petite Noir, talking to Dazed Digital.
I don’t think that there’s necessarily one sound of Africa. Consider the Blk Jks and The Brother Moves On, those that are into Marimba music and the whole devotional gospel sound like St Vincent and Ladysmith Black Mambazo. You’ll find similarities between Congolese music and Senegalese music. There are musical principles and approaches that you’ll find applied in different ways throughout the continent. I find South Africa to be specifically diverse – I mean Dirty Paraffin and Blk Jks are worlds apart in terms of coming from the same sort of place. The sound is developing and maturing as much as the country is. That’s one of the more appealing aspects to life here, to our social reality. Everything is still in a stage of development; nothing is quite set in stone in a society that is redeveloping and re-establishing itself. There’s a lot of room for positive growth. There are challenges too but I’m much more encouraged than I am pessimistic when I think about life in Africa. I think its future is much brighter than its past.