Monthly Archives: June 2014

African music for Peace: ‘Nzima’ – Simphiwe Dana

Simphiwe 4-001Simphiwe Dana‘s music may be light in melody but it is heavy and deep when it comes to its lyrics. We can easily consider the Afrojazz & -soul artist as being one of those South African artists that represent the social conscience of the music industry. Although culture and music has always been about themes that are relevant for the well-being of societies, few artists do really use their music to shake society, to warn or to heal them from wounds. Simphiwe Dana is an artist whose music cares for what happens with the South African society.

Her latest masterpiece, ‘Nzima‘, is inspired by the Marikana massacre on 10 August 2012. According to Dana, the track is “essentially a prayer for a people that have had a history of violence inflicted upon them.” It should also remind South Africans about what happened in the post-apartheid period and “point out whether we are meeting or failing Madiba’s vision – a reminder of the cost of freedom, and for ongoing freedom to be translated to a better life for all” (Source: Sundayworld).

Watch the video of the track below:

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‘Megbele’ – Omawumi

megbeleMegbele‘ is one of these energetic tracks that can seduce even those to come to the dancefloor that normally shy away. The E-Kelly produced track is perfectly arranged and makes wonderful use of Omawumi‘s (‘Cocoa na Chocolate‘) great voice.

Some days ago, she even released the visual treatment for the song, a beautiful video, in which she celebrates her home-coming to Warri. Watch the video below.

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‘June 12’ – Kahli Abdu

khali abduIce Prince has recently released ‘Tears for Naija‘, in which he translated his anger and frustration about Nigeria’s deteriorating security crisis into a song and reflective questions about his mother country. His fellow Nigerian rap colleague Kahli Abdu (‘Forever & Ever‘), who also hails from Jos, now produced his own version to explain to us the state of the Nigerian nation. ‘June 12‘ is a much darker tune than Ice Prince’s pendant, but also addressed to Boko Haram and to the Nigerian President. It is great to see that the normally joy-concerned Nigerian music scene comes up with politically conscious songs in these challenging times for Nigerians.

You can download the track for free via soundcloud.

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‘Fati Ka’ & ‘Aïgouna’ – Anansy Cissé

anansyThe music on Anansy Cissé‘s new album is an interesting melange that fuses traditional Malian instruments (Ngoni, Sokou, Calabash) with Western  influences, such as 1970’s Rock music. He becomes popular in the Malian music scene after the release of his self-produced debut album. In 2012, he was forced to leave his native town, Tombouctou, due to the armed conflict that shook the whole of Northern Mali.

In the capital, he started to work on new music and produced the album ‘Mali Overdrive‘, an impressive longplayer which can be regarded as one of the best releases from the African continent so far in 2014. Listen below to the two tracks ‘Aïgouna‘ and ‘Fati Ka‘. Here are some lyrics/information on both tracks, taken from worldmusic.net:

‘Fati Ka’:’I just can’t forget Fati. I dream of her in the day and lie awake to her thought through the night. I beg you Fati, come back. For months you have left me alone. I’ve never replaced you, come back, you’re already forgiven.’

‘Aïgouna’: This song is a tribute to all the Fulani people of Mali, north to south. It makes reference to those cities with a dense Fulani population (Mopti, Diré, Ségou, Gao) and to major names of the Fulani people in Mali (Cissé, Dicko, Sidibé, Diakité, Barry).

You can download ‘Aïgouna‘ for free via Afropop.

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Red Bull Music Academy Bass Camp Johannesburg

artworks-000082067925-48zhza-t500x500Here comes a very nice compilation of tracks by South African newcomers! The songs were produced during the Red Bull Music Academy Bass Camp Johannesburg last October/ November (Red Bull Studios Johannesburg forms one part of the global Red Bull Studio Network). As you can you see below, the line-up promises fresh and innovative stuff: Okmalumkoolkat, Moonchild, Card On Spokes and many more. It reminds me on the Futuristic Mixtapes that Spoek Mathambo produced recently. Read this article about the unique studio sessions on Africaisacountry.

My favourite track: ‘Rome‘ by Ox++, Okmalumkoolkat, Nonku Phiri & Bra Sol

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