In our first season of Africa Is a Country Radio on Worldwide FM, we took at look at the musical histories of six port cities in order to understand various local permutations of the Black Atlantic cultural sphere. Now, we’re back with a new season where we’ll take a deep dive into club culture on the African continent, inspired by the recent release of the Ten Cities book project.
Ten Cities is part of a more than decade long project that started as a cultural exchange between musicians and producers in Nairobi and Berlin that aimed to de-center club histories and narratives away from the US and Europe. In 2011, the Goethe-Institut helped fund the production of an album called BLNRB that was released on German label Outhere Records, which featured collaborations between Berlin and Nairobi based DJs, producers, rappers and singers. In 2012 the project expanded to examine club culture across ten different cities in Europe and Africa, cities that go beyond the regular international clubbing circuit. In 2014 they released a compilation album featuring artists from across all ten cities. The project has now taken the form of a more than 500 page book that features in depth essays and photographs depicting club culture in the ten different cities chosen.
This season on Africa Is a Country Radio, we will be interviewing essayists from the book, to get insight about club culture in African cities: Cairo, Luanda, Nairobi, Johannesburg, and Lagos.
Up first we visit Cairo and talk with Egyptian music journalist Maha El Nabawi about the history of Egyptian music after independence and the contours of club and electronic music in the city of Cairo. Listen here.