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.
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).
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.
Boddhi Satva, Central African Republic-born DJ/Producer has made some special music with his recent release, Ancestral Soul Interpretations Part 1. A collection of songs reworked with his distinct Ancestral Soul sound, it features artists including Bjork, Drake, Erykah Badu, Frank Ocean, Gyptian, Jill Scott, Meshell Ndegeocello, Radiohead, Rihanna, Stevie Wonder and Usher!
As you may know, I LOVE house music with soul and this description of Boddhi's sound is quite close to explaining why: "a generous and extravagant music that tells real life stories as well as makes people give their whole self up to limitless and code-stripped styles of dance – ritualistic, erotic, ecstatic, jubilant."
Listen to and download Ancestral Soul Interpretationshere or here and download it for free on Boddhi's site. You can also download Boddhi's single Nankoumanjan featuring Malian singer Mangala Camara here – video below (videos here for those reading via RSS):
Purchase Boddhi Satva's latest album Invocation on iTunes or Amazon.
I'm so happy to bring you this beautiful music from Vusa Mkhaya today. The founding member of award-winning vocal trio Insingizi last month released his first international solo release, Vocalism. A celebration of his favourite instrument, Vusa says, "Voices are, for me, the best and the first instrument. When I think of music I think voice."
All sorts of homecomings
Fusing elements of Zimbabwean and European tradition, the album at some point draws upon yodelling and Hungarian folk music and Vusa collaborates in part with local musicians in Bulawayo, where his career began.
"In Zimbabwe we have a saying, 'a child belongs to everyone in the village'. This is how I felt working on Vocalism in Bulawayo. When friends came in and contributed some ideas, they did not see the album as Vusa's ‘child’, but as theirs too. My success is their success and my struggle is their struggle."
"Bulawayo has all these great voices which have not been heard outside the city. I hope that the people that sing on the album will now be heard beyond the city of Bulawayo and Zimbabwe. I am really happy doing this here, and I will always [come back to] Bulawayo because this is the city that I love the most; I’ve been to so many cities around the world and, no offense to the other great cities that I’ve been to, but Bulawayo ‘does it’ for me, and I’m happy that, finally, we’ve come home."
Listen/watch to what he's talking about (click here if reading via RSS):