AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

MUSIC

image

Monday, May 12th, 2014

The music that changed my life

The Cape Town suburb of Observatory is known for being a small bohemian enclave, providing low cost housing for students, artists and ‘free spirits’ of all sorts. Walk down Lower Main Road past the quaint mini-Victorian houses and sushi restaurants, and you’ll find all the familiar student-town tropes: aging hippies, overpriced vintage clothing, and laptop-ridden

Saturday, May 10th, 2014

Erykah Badu and hero worship in the times of Twitter

On April 24, style icon and queen of neo-soul, Erykah Badu performed for King Mswati III–the absolute ruler of Swaziland since 1986 when, at 18, he succeeded his father King Sobhuza III–at his birthday party. When the...

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Africa is a Country Radio: Episode 2

Just in time for the weekend, episode 2 of Africa is a Country Radio is here! (It went live first on Groovalizacion last week.) This month’s episode opens with a dedication to Suriname, and ends with an audio accompaniment...

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

20 Years of Freedom in South Africa: What do hip hop heads in Cape Town make of elections

Having been hosted by the likes of DJ Ready D, Big Dre, Shameen, and Wanda, just to mention a few, Headwarmaz is now in the hands of the new generation of Cape Town hip hop in the...

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

Tumi Molekane’s New Song

With no Volume to his name, it seemed almost impossible to imagine South Africa-based self-proclaimed poet/emcee Tumi Molekane as a solo artist. He had released two albums before forming a band: A dream led to this and Tao of...

Monday, April 28th, 2014

The African Hip-Hop Generation Arrives

I remember it like it was yesterday. My older brother had just returned from his freshman year of secondary school and the loud engine of my father’s old Nissan Stanza pulling into the compound had sent us...

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Basil Breakey’s images: An important recording of South Africa Jazz

A few weeks ago, the Central Library in the Cape Town made a book maze from books that were intended to be pulped. Inserted in between the stacks of books that were packed on the first floor,...

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

The Shifting, Sonic Geography of Cartagena, Colombia

It had been three years since I’d visited Cartagena, and I was shocked by all the changes. They must have been bubbling under the surface the last time I came, because they seemed so drastic. On my first...

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Jazz in Cape Town

In Cape Town jazz here is not just jazz. It’s a whole lot more. For one, it is a dance style that continues to be the predominant feature of successive generations of Cape Flats families. Almost similar...

Monday, April 7th, 2014

Old Money’s Mothership Is Here to Save Us All

Dutty Artz, the New York-based record label I run and release music with, just put out a new EP by Old Money. This morning I put my remix of the title track ‘Mothership’ on Soundcloud, and for a limited...

Friday, April 4th, 2014

No, we have not forgotten that it was Bra Hugh Masekela’s 75th birthday today

It's Bra Hugh's birthday today. Well into his seventies, Hughie as his friend Dizzy Gillepsie used to call him, demonstrates no interest in laying off from touring. To celebrate, we'll bump a bit of "I Am Not...

Friday, March 28th, 2014

The Expat

"Even though I’m an immigrant, (my music) mirrors what a lot of African Americans experience because it’s such a black story. I’ve found inspiration from that community and they embrace me and allow me to do their...

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Happy Africans

By 11am this morning Pharrell Williams' pop friendly and infectious "Happy" had racked up 138,948,968 views on Youtube and obviously making him and his record company a lot of money. If it's not enough that it is...

Friday, March 21st, 2014

The Story of Ill Skillz: Notes From The Native Yards

When they founded Ill Skillz in 2005, Uno July and Lukona Sitole couldn’t have anticipated that, just one year shy of a decade later, they would’ve experienced the departure of three crew members. Their deejay, Nick Knucklez,...

Monday, March 17th, 2014

Lesotho’s Politics Go Pop

Lesotho's Prime Minister and leader of the coalition government Tom Thabane has found love: ‘It is one of the best decisions that I ever made in my entire life,’ the statesman said in a recent newspaper interview...

Friday, March 14th, 2014

Before And After The Disco: Ibibio Sound Machine’s Self Titled Debut Album

Ibibio Sound Machine’s debut offering is a distillation of a day, shaped from a twenty-four hour palette of light, as their sounds are filtered through its unstable changes in tone and texture. If silence is the canvas...

Friday, March 7th, 2014

Finding the Afro- in Brazil

Last week I wrote a post about my excitement around the African musical permutations I was hearing this year in Trinidad’s Carnival. Since this week I was in Brazil for my first Carnaval Carioca, I wanted to...

Friday, February 28th, 2014

Meet Bittereinder

I discovered the three piece Afrikaans outfit Bittereinder through the internet and fell in love with them because of their live performance. Their music, a bass-heavy flurry of high-energy drops and subdued melodies, develops a different personality...

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Azonto Soca in Your Area

It’s Carnival time again! Besides being one of my favorite annual excuses to party (although I usually partake in August, as I’m usually stuck in the northern cold at this time of year), it always gives me...

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

The Congolization Movement

On January 17th, a group of local artists (Pitcho Womba Konga, Fredy Massamba, Badi Banx, Caroline, Kamanda, Lety, Jack, Karim, Christian, Malkia and myself) pulled off "the Action" in L'Horloge Du Sud, better known as the Afro-European...

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

How do Senegalese talk about gay identities

A music video by Senegalese singer Ouzin caused some online stir in Senegal when it debuted last month on Youtube. “Beureung Barigo,” which means “rolling the barrel” in Wolof, is a mbalax style song with simple lyrics...

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

Musician Umlilo pushes gender boundaries in South Africa

Artists in South Africa continue to push the boundaries of gender norms in popular media. In contemporary dance, members of the group V.I.N.T.A.G.E. Cru (who we’ve interviewed) are boldly leading the way (see their latest video) and...

Friday, February 7th, 2014

The ‘Born Free Generation’

The Fader (yes, they're still around) has been putting up a series of posts from Johannesburg (Obey You Collective: South Africa) that focuses on "artists, trail-blazers, and bright young talents from South Africa." (The series is paid...

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

What’s it like to be an artist in Egypt right now

On the last Sunday of January, an Egyptian musical theatre group performed a bare-bones rendition of Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables in colloquial Arabic to a standing room only crowd in New York City’s Leonard Nimoy Thalia. In fact the...

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

The Rediscovery of William Onyeabor

I had an American friend Facebook me with a link to Onyeabor and a comment to the effect that they really liked him and wanted to know more. I sent back a link of WizKid and Olamide,...

Friday, January 31st, 2014

Weekend Music Break 67

We kick off this weekend’s music break with an artist who has been away from the scene for a while: Cape Verdean rapper Vieira Nkosi. This week he uploaded a short freestyle video (in Dutch) entitled “I...

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

When Steven Van Zandt convinced AZAPO to take Paul Simon off a hit list and what Paul Simon really thought of Nelson Mandela

Later today in Cape Town Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band start off a four-date concert tour of South Africa–the first time ever Springsteen and his band will perform in South Africa. The Cape Town dates...

Friday, January 24th, 2014

Weekend Music Break 66

10 new music videos from Tanzania, Senegal, South Africa, Cameroon, Mali, Congo, and Ghana. But first, Nigeria. Seun Kuti and Egypt 80 have a new record coming out next month. Here’s a first single, with help from...

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

When the Fokn Bois visited a picturesque Dutch village

I have to be honest; I had to Google Map the village of Lieshout to see where it exactly lays. And as a matter of fact I, as a Dutch person, never even knew that it’s the...

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

Weekend Music Break 65

There’s plenty to choose from what musicians have been releasing during the holidays. So here’s a first selection of ten new videos that we’ve found in our inbox. First up, a new release from Akwaaba: Joey le...

Page 2 of 35 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 35