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Music and Food month!
If I were to name the two things I am most passionate about it would be, without a doubt; music and food. That is why it gives me great pleasure to present: See Africa Differently’s music and food month!
This August, we will be taking a close look at music and cuisine, across our favourite continent, Africa. Whether it’s reviewing the best African restaurants across the country, or interviewing some of Africa’s, and Britain’s, brightest musical stars, See Africa Differently will be bringing the forefront of Africa’s music and food culture to your screens.
In the first two weeks of August, we will be focusing on African music, and to warm us up we’ve asked our audience, and some of our bloggers, to recommend their favourite African tracks!
31 year-old Nigerian singer Nneka released her debut album, Nneka... To and Fro, in 2009. Since then, she’s supported Gnarls Barkley and Femi Kuti on tour, has won a MOBO award, and has collaborated with infamous British DJ’s Chase & Status.
“Heartbeat’s” infectious chorus, blood-pumping rhythm, and insightful vocals reveal a different side to African music, not dissimilar to the lazy hip-hop vocals of Jamie T, or the energy of Ms.Dynamite.
“Released in 2008 and a single, Heartbeat, slipped into the UK top 20 last autumn, its slow emergence being encouraging confirmation that there is more than one route into the charts.” – The Guardian.
6 years ago, Africa lost one of its most talented and prestigious musicians; Ali Farka Toure. Born in Mali, in 1939, his folk/blues music has been part of Africa’s music scene for 30-years with the release of 19 albums. Famed for his guitar, and soulful voice, Toure has influenced artists worldwide, including Rage Against the Machine, who reference Toure’s debut album in their song "If You Fear Dying."
“Heygana” epitomises Toure’s legendary blues sound. The combination of hypnotic electric guitar beats and foot-stomping harmonicas make the power of his voice even more enticing.
“One of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” – Rolling Stone
A pioneer of Afrobeats music and legendary Nigerian musician Fela Kuti is famed for his political activism and human rights campaigning.
Fela uses all 12mins of this song as an attack on the Nigerian military. The track has one of the most incredible instrumental lasting a total of 5min 20 seconds
"Political dissident, polygamist, musical innovator -- he pioneered Afrobeat, a blend of traditional Yoruba music, jazz and American funk -- Fela lived a wonderfully controversial, complex (and virile) life” – The New York Times
Legendary Beninoise singer and activist, Angelique Kidjo, is the queen of African music. As one of the continent’s most inspiring and iconic figures, her music has won her a Grammy award, appeared on the Simpsons, and earned her international recognition.
“Agolo” puts a spin on the traditional African sound to create an anthemic pop sound. Kidjo’s incredible voice over beating drums, is the perfect combination of dance and African nostalgia.
“Africa's premier diva” – Time Magazine
Duncan Mighty grew up in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. After joining choirs and working in studios, the success of his debut album "KOLI WATER" saw him hit national fame. Duncan has been honoured by the UN as a peace ambassador and continues to write for other Nigerian artists.
From the first beat, “Obianuju”, sends heads bopping and hips rocking. An infectious chorus, an electronic voice and the chanting lyrics make this a 21st century African classic.
“One of the eight Afrobeat artists to listen to” – The Guardian
The stereotype of Africa is not its reality. It’s a growing continent and I’ll be writing about the exciting changes that are happening everyday.
What do you think? Comment below.