Category: Music

US navy band performs at Nigerian University

The United States Navy brass band on Wednesday thrilled students of the Department of Arts in the University of Lagos. Nigeria.

The band, which is based in Italy, is involved in efforts to strengthen ties with partner nations throughout Europe and Africa.

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The club of 8 Ghanaian stars to have entered Billboard Chart

By Nasiba Yakubu
Despite the gloomy commentary Ghanaian music receives, there are twinkle, twinkle little Ghanaian stars in the global music sky that must leave us with satisfaction that Ghana is doing something right to keep the global night bright.

Ghanaian artistes and their counterparts in the diaspora have made impressive strides with their unique talents over the years.

The constant growth witnessed in the industry has pushed Ghanaian music unto one of the world’s renowned music grading charts, The Billboard Charts.

Continue reading “The club of 8 Ghanaian stars to have entered Billboard Chart”

Meet Kwesi Arthur, Ghanaian musician taking African Hip-Hop to the world

By Michael Klugey

While hip-hop has been long associated with its roots in America, there is a new class of African artists participating in the genre. Leading this new wave is 24-year-old musician Kwesi Arthur, from Tema, Ghana.

Kwesi Arthur is currently the youngest Ghanaian to have a BET nomination—in the viewer’s choice category for Best New International Act in 2018. He exploded onto Ghana’s rap scene in 2016 with the bass-heavy trap anthem “Grind Day” which, two years later, won Hip-Hop Song of the Year at the Ghana Music Awards for its remix with Sarkodie and Medikal.

He has since them released Afro-swing tracks like “Anthem” and records like “African Girl” that explore afro-fusion sounds. Kwesi raps in both Twi and English and, in many ways, uses his music as a vessel to tell the tales of what other young Ghanaians face.

Continue reading “Meet Kwesi Arthur, Ghanaian musician taking African Hip-Hop to the world”

This Kenyan musician followed his love for Dylan to a new life and career

J.S. Ondara discovered he loved the music of Bob Dylan when he lost a bet.

Ondara was in high school in Nairobi when he got in a fight with another student over the song “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.”

It’s a Guns N’ Roses song, Ondara argued. No, said his classmate, it’s originally from a folk singer named Bob Dylan.

“So, we got into this fight, and we made a bet,” Ondara explained. “I lost a bet. But I got to discover the music of Bob Dylan and fell into this rabbit hole, which eventually led me to Minneapolis, to his home state. ”

That’s right.

When Ondara won the US visa lottery five years ago he swapped Nairobi for Minneapolis — “straight to the cold” — because of his love for Bob Dylan.

Continue reading “This Kenyan musician followed his love for Dylan to a new life and career”

Meet Gilbert Mulamba: The Congolese musician who records with US luminaries

By Lins Honeyman

Last October saw the release of the long-awaited second album from Congo-born, Dallas-based pianist, arranger and producer Gilbert Mulamba.

The release’s inlay card describes the project as “a mosaic of cultures, sounds and grooves for the ultimate worship experience” and, with recording having taken place in the US, Congo, France, South Africa, Mexico, Haiti, Israel, China and as many more countries, it’s a truly international affair.

Impressively, Gilbert secured cameos from big name artists such as Joel Kibble of Take 6 fame and Grammy-winning saxophonist Eric Marienthal whilst Dove-nominated pianist Ben Tankard and CeCe Winans’ bass player Thaddaeus Tribbett also lent their substantial talents – all of which adds to the rich tapestry of sound contained within the album’s 13 mostly instrumental tracks.

Continue reading “Meet Gilbert Mulamba: The Congolese musician who records with US luminaries”

The American Choral Music Association invites Kenya’s Nairobi Chamber Chorus to perform in Kansas City.

The American Choral Music Association (ACDA) has invited the Nairobi Chamber Chorus, a Kenyan choir group, to perform in the associations’ 60th jubilee conference in Kansas City.

It is the largest choral music event in America bringing in the very best from across the globe for the annual extravaganza.

“Congratulations to you and your singers on your exemplary achievement,” read an excerpt of their invitation letter from Sara Lynn Baird, the Performing Choir Chair.

Nairobi Chamber Chorus director, Ken Wakia, guided them on their way to becoming the first ever Kenyan group to perform on Broadway at the famed Lincoln Center back in 2018.

Broadway at the famed Lincoln Center back in 2018.

Along with London’s West End theatre, Broadway theatre is widely considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English-speaking world.

The Kenyan choir didn’t disappoint and went on to belt out such polished melodies and tamed voices, engulfing the hall packed with nearly 400 black tie executives drawn for the US, Germany and the rest of the World.

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Meet J.S Ondara: The next big musical export from Kenya to the world

You might hear his voice and wonder why you’ve never heard of J.S Ondara but that is set to change because we are going to introduce you to the silky-voiced crooner.

Ondara is a Kenyan who moved to the United States of America six years ago after winning a Green Card lottery that allowed him to settle down there, where he picked up guitar playing from scratch.

The interesting thing about his artistic journey is that it all started with a bet gone wrong!

He had bet with a friend that the song Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door was written by the band, Guns N’ Roses, his favourite band and not by the legendary musician Bob Dylan.

Continue reading “Meet J.S Ondara: The next big musical export from Kenya to the world”

After 20 year sojourn in America, kenyan band, Jabali Afrika, returns home

Nimetembea sijamuona msichana kama Aoko…

imetembea sijamuona msichana kama Aoko…

This is one of the most famous lines in arguably Jabali Afrika’s greatest song of all time, Aoko.

Teenage Kenyan music fans — and most certainly those in their early 20s — may not resonate with songs by one of the continent’s most iconic Afro-rock jam bands, but the journey by the legendary ensemble reads like a fairytale.

Teenage Kenyan music fans — and most certainly those in their early 20s — may not resonate with songs by one of the continent’s most iconic Afro-rock jam bands, but the journey by the legendary ensemble reads like a fairytale.

After bolting out due to unresolvable differences, former members of Kenya National Theatre (KNT) Dance Troupe formed Jabali Afrika on February 12, 1993.

Justo Asikoye, Peter Mutua, Josek Asikoye, Evans Chagala, Victor Savana Elolo and Robert Owino threw in the towel to chart their own way, but one would wonder why this powerful troupe split even after making a serious musical impact in the country and beyond.

Justo Asikoye, Peter Mutua, Josek Asikoye, Evans Chagala, Victor Savana Elolo and Robert Owino threw in the towel to chart their own way, but one would wonder why this powerful troupe split even after making a serious musical impact in the country and beyond.

“We wanted independence, freedom and space to express our creativity in a more profound manner. Our decision to break away wasn’t that easy because we had already established ourselves at KNT, but we had to make a decision anyway,” says Justo Asikoye, 48, one of the most recognisable faces of Jabali Afrika.

Continue reading “After 20 year sojourn in America, kenyan band, Jabali Afrika, returns home”

Soweto Gospel Choir take home 2019 World Music Awards at Grammys

Johannesburg – Multiple award-winning Soweto Gospel Choir have won the Best World Music Album Grammy for their collection of songs titled Freedom.

The awards took place on Sunday night in Los Angeles and were hosted by Alicia Keys.
This was the group`s fifth nomination in this category and they have now won the prestigious award a total of three times.

Receiving the award on behalf of Soweto Gospel Choir were album producer Diniloxolo Ndlakuse Shimmy Jiyane, Mary Mulovhedzi and Mulalo Mulovhedzi whose late father David Mulovhedzi co-founded the group with producer/director Beverly Bryer 17 years ago.

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Nigerian-American, Ibra Ake grabs first Grammy for producing Gambino’s ‘This is America’

Nigerian-American producer, writer and filmmaker, Ibra Ake snagged his first Grammy Award at the 61st ceremony. He won the award for Best Music Video for producing Childish Gambino’s critically acclaimed visuals for ‘This is America’.

Reacting to the win, Ake excitedly tweeted @ibralikezebra, “I can’t believe I just won a Grammy. Where’s the catch? Royalty forever.”

The visual artist, creative director and writer based in Los Angeles, California and shuttles between cities around the world from Lagos to New York.

While he has spent most of his life in America, he constantly credits his Nigerian upbringing for allowing him to understand the value of documentation and storytelling.

Ake, who grew up in Nigeria and New Jersey, is also a writer for hit TV show, ‘Atlanta’ which also features Childish Gambino.

Childish Gambino’s ‘This is America’ won a total of four Grammy awards on Sunday night.

Nigerian-American music star, Davido, sets new record on Billboard chart

Atlanta-born Davido’s “Fall” continues to break international records.  The music video for the 2017 hit, is already the first Nigerian music video to reach 100 million views on Youtube, making it the most watched Nigerian music video on YouTube.

Now, the massive Nigerian pop song has reached another unprecedented record: it’s officially the longest-charting Nigerian song in Billboard history.   Last year it became the first Nigerian music video to reach 100 million views on YouTube, and now it has been named the longest-charting Nigerian song in US chart history.

By Damola Durosomo in okayafrica.com
Continue reading “Nigerian-American music star, Davido, sets new record on Billboard chart”

The Music of Ghana Comes to Tahoe

Okaidja Afrosa grew up in the small coastal fishing village of Kokrobite on the outskirts of the capital city of Ghana. A popular place for families and tourists alike to visit on the weekend to escape the madness of crowded Accra, this beach town has always had a lively, homegrown music scene despite gaining modern comforts more recently.

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Spotify Launches Afro Hub to Showcase African Music

Spotify recently launched its Afro Hub initiative as part of its Global Cultures Project. “It’s our mission to uncover every layer of this ancient, expressive and rhythmic musical culture which is an important component of today’s mainstream, modern music,” the popular music streaming service said. This report by  Mazuba Kapambwe of  IR Insider gives more details. Continue reading “Spotify Launches Afro Hub to Showcase African Music”

African Pop Stars Take Over Coney Island, NY, for One Africa Show

Afrobeat  is the African musical genre that has grown in popularity all over the world.  Big concerts involving African artists attract huge crowds in cities like London, New York and Dubai. This report in papermag.com reviews One Africa Music Fest in New York’s Cooney Island and the stars that made the night.

With less than one hour to showtime — the rain didn’t let up, and neither did the crowd. In fact the 5,000+ fans who checked in to Coney Island’s outdoor theater venue never left until the marathon 10-hour concert was over. Rain or more rain: they had good reason to stay. This wasn’t an ordinary show, but a special gathering of Africa’s leading Afrobeat stars performing at the annual One Africa Music Fest Concert. The growth of this genre, which seamlessly blends traditional West African music with Western influences, is fueled by a short list of pan-African and Caribbean entertainers, many of whom were front and center at Saturday night’s concert. From dancers to DJs to the artists themselves, we captured them all backstage, where they shared their thoughts on why they love the genre, and why it’s here to stay.

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Ghanaian John Q hosts Kumi Guitar, Bull Dog and More in New Recording Studio in Bronx, NY

Realizing there is no Ghanaian professional recording studio in Bronx (New York, USA), US based Ghanaian reggae artist John Quansah popularly known as John Q has just finished building a state of the art studio in a commercial area in Bronx New York City. This report zylofonmediaonline.com gives more details. Continue reading “Ghanaian John Q hosts Kumi Guitar, Bull Dog and More in New Recording Studio in Bronx, NY”

Telling the story of native-born Africans living in the Americas
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