Sathima’s swansong

There is a time for everything: Between Afropunk and the passing of a musical legend, Sathima Bea Benjamin, is our Weekend Music Break.

It’s weekend of the Afropunk Festival in Brooklyn, New York, and a few of us at Africa Is a Country who are based here, will be partaking in the madness.  If you can’t make it to Afropunk this year don’t worry we’ve got a very solid collection of videos to generate an instant music festival wherever you happen to be getting down.

On a nostalgia tip, Olugbenga revisits his old stomping grounds on the streets of Lagos around the Ojuelegba Bus Stop in the Andy Okafor filmed video “Silver Pixie, Iyawo Mi.” This was Olugbenga’s first trip home since he was 15.

Philadelphia producer King Britt has this to say about his afro-futurist electronica project Fhloston Paradigm: “It walks the line of duality, both science fact and science fiction. It is the future of the now moment. The purpose is to transmit the omni-versal message of divine abstractions into aural pleasing tones.” He explains the video for Chasing Rainbows is a “sprained fable of a wanderer who is her own congress. Can time pry dance from the preface of no more?”

Afrikan Boy, still terrorizing London, channels Fela in “Hit Em Up.”

We’ve got a fantastic collection of live footage of South African rap crew, Driemanskap, for their track “Hosh/Hosa.”

Somali sisters Faarrow show us they were down with music from a young age when they go back home in the Studio Africa-produced video “Say My Name.”

Ghanaian singer Sala gives us a club ready track with “Today Na Today“. And if you need any ideas, the well shot video, filmed at a garage, will show you how to move:

You know how musicians are always reading lyrics off of their phones these days when they’re recording in the studio? Mosotho hip-hop artist Juvy and friends take that to the next level in the hilarious video for “Sotha.”

The title of Berlin-based Ugandan singer Jaqee’s new track says enough: “Dance.”

Talented Ghanaian singer Paapa demonstrates his lyrical depth in “Write for Me”. This is a guy to pay attention to.

Tanzanians Nay and Diamond let us know the music scene in Bongo is still very much fly with “Muziki Gani Part 2.”

And finally, from Sathima Bea Benjamin, the legendary Cape Town jazz singer who went home to the ancestors this week (see Sean Jacobs’ review of her autobiography for some background on her politics and musical career), we have her epic masterpiece “Africa.” This song comes from her Songbird LP that was rereleased by Matsuli music just last month. Ms. Benjamin gave a few rare performances at the Mahogany Room and Tagore’s in Cape Town for the occasion. Download an audio recording from the Tagore’s show here, Sathima swansong in this world.

 

Further Reading

What’s happening in South Africa?

After unrest in July and municipal elections in November, it’s clear South Africa is in the midst of a serious social, economic and political crisis. What are the roots of it? Listen to this episode of AIAC Talk to find out.