If the week's got you spent, Laura Mvula is sure to be the antidote with her uplifting soulful sound. The Birmingham, UK, native released her debut single just months ago (November 2012) and has already been met with much acclaim.
The legendary singer and maverick (look at that photo!), Bi Kidude, passed away yesterday at over 100 years of age. Born in Zanzibar as Fatma Bint Baraka, she is considered the undisputed queen of Taarab and Unyago music.
A grassroots advocate for women's rights, Bi Kidude participated in the Unyago movement which involves educating young girls against the dangers of sexual abuse and oppression. She herself escaped her forced marriage at age 13 which, was no doubt quite a feat, especially in 1920s Zanzibar.
Bi Kidude received the prestigious WOMEX award in 2005 for her contribution to music and culture in Zanzibar and a 'Sports and Arts Award' from Tanzania's President in 2012.
Today, a celebration in remembrance of the feisty Bi Kidude.
Today I'm very pleased to share this interview with the dynamic percussionist, Adriano Adewale. Before I went to one of his shows, I didn't really appreciate how exciting, intriguing, magical and satisfying a percussion concert could be. If you've seen Adriano perform, you'll know exactly what I mean. Adriano pushes the boundaries of what we consider musical instruments to be (bucket of water anyone?) and tells musical stories with charm and an endearing playfulness.
The London-based Brazilian-born musician discusses his journey and reflects on the necessity of putting in the work to make things happen.
Today it's all about the stylings of multi-instrumentalist, Esinam Dogbatse. Playing music since the age of five, Esinam's Ghanaian roots contribute to the African influences in her music. She is a member of several groups including the Diab Quintet, Kel Assuf and Azu-K. Here is a playful piece for your Friday enjoyment (RSS readers click here).
Portuguese singer, composer, guitarist and percussionist, Sara Tavares is influenced by African, Portuguese and North American music. Everything I've heard her sing is sublime and these tunes are surely the perfect way to ease you into the weekend. One love everybody!
As I was preparing last Friday's TGIF! post, I realised a really serious ommission on my part – I've never dedicated a post to South African duo, Liquideep! You may know that I am partial to some good soulful house and here's an act that does it mellow and oh so well. I am happy to finally present you with some Liquideep goodness (RSS readers click here).
Birds Eye View presents a cross-cultural live music commission by East African-influenced jazz musician, Amira Kheir for their 2013 Film Festival: Celebrating Arab Women Filmmakers. Singer, musician, somgwriter (and Afri-love interviewee), Amira will score a landmark silent film, Sumurun (One Arabian Night).
Of the film, a fantasy-drama of forbidden love, the NY Times says: ‘brilliant’.
Of Amira's critically acclaimed first album, View from Somewhere, Songlines says: ‘beautiful and fearless'. I own it and must agree.
Get a taste of Amira's music via today's video (RSS readers click here)
The Women of the World Festival at London's Southbank Centre is coming and there are some great music performances that will be complementing the various talks and workshops. Today, enjoy music and spoken word from the African and diaspora contigent of artists who will be performing next week.