Category: Music

Wynton Marsalis and More Celebrate the Sounds of Post-Apartheid South African Jazz in New York

The story of South African jazz has been told in venues across New York City since the ’60s, when the likes of Hugh Masekela and Miriam Makeba came to the town as exiles from Johannesburg. The part of the story that came after the country found democracy hasn’t had as much stage time as fans of the genre would say it deserves. It’s this part of the story that Jazz at Lincoln Center’s new series of concerts, the South African Songbook, chose to spotlight to kick off its 2019-2020 season.

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Inspired by Fela, Nigeria’s Burna Boy blazes trail in the US

By GARY GERARD HAMILTON, ASSOCIATED PRESS NEW YORK 

Burna Boy was only six years old when Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti passed away, but that was enough time for the future musician to be inspired.

“Everyone’s got their hero,” the 28-year-old Nigerian performer said. “For me, that’s my hero.”

Kuti — the Nigerian musical icon and political agitator whose life and legacy was portrayed in the wildly popular Broadway musical “Fela!” — was once managed by Burna Boy’s grandfather, someone else he calls a hero.

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Afropop Queen Victoria Kimani Is Kenya’s Best Kept Secret

The “Wash It” singer tells the Recording Academy about her multinational background, growing up in L.A., Tulsa, Nigeria and Kenya and breaking out of what can sometimes be an isolating music scene

By RACHEL BRODSKY

Everyone has an origin story, and R&B/Afropop singer Victoria Kimani‘s is especially memorable. Born in Los Angeles to Kenyan parents, the 34-year-old moved all over the globe—specifically to Tulsa, Okla., Nigeria and finally Kenya—during her teen years.

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How Afrobeats Is Influencing American Pop Music, According to Producer P2J

BY KEMET HIGH

Afrobeats has been steadily infiltrating the U.S. airwaves for the past few years. In fact, you may have heard Afro B’s “Drogba (Joanna)” thumping out of someone’s car speakers this summer, bringing the uplifting vibe you need when the sun is out.

The term afrobeats has been used to describe a collective campaign of different musical styles stemming from Africa, not to get mixed up with Afrobeat, which is a West African music genre blending fuji and highlife music with American jazz and funk, pioneered by Fela Kuti. Afrobeats is a word that’s used to bring awareness to African-influenced music from collectives like the Flight Club, artists like Davido, Burna Boy, and Wizkid, and producers like P2J.

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African gospel music producers aim to break into Edmonton’s music scene

‘Sometimes in a world where maybe the favour is not in your lane you create your own favour’

By Thandiwe Konguavi · CBC News


A number of renowned African gospel music producers, who now call Edmonton home, are working non-stop to break African musicians into mainstream Christian radio stations. 

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MAD OO!! Burna Boy’s ‘African Giant’ Album Debuts At No. 13 On Billboard World Album Charts

Once again, the African Giant is standing tall amongst the rest.

After releasing back-to-back hit singles off the album, there was no doubt that the album was going to be phenomenal.

Nigerian Dancehall-Afrobeatz artiste, Burna Boy’s recently released album titled ‘African Giant’ has debuted No. 13 on Billboard World Charts just in the second week after its release.

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African stars Wizkid, Tiwa Savage, Burna Boy to feature in Beyoncés ‘Lion King: The Gift’ Album

The superstar’s new album will feature a number of African stars who rarely get exposure in the U.S.

By Elias Leight


Beyoncé has announced The Lion King: The Gift, an album that will accompany the remake of the famous Disney animated film will have a track list that includes stars from Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa, artists who rarely get exposure in the American mainstream. 

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Soweto Gospel Choir: Three Heavy Grammys And A World Singing Their Praise

Songs of the struggle and music steeped in South Africa’s apartheid past. The story of how the Soweto Gospel Choir captivated the world

By Motlabana Monnakgotla


Three Grammys in 12 years. And more global awards in their 17 years of existence. In February this year, at the 61st annual Grammy awards in Los Angeles, South Africa’s child and Africa’s pride, the Soweto Gospel Choir (SGC) walked up to the stage to a rousing ovation.

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Burna Boy’s Mother Accepts “Best International Act” At BET Awards 2019

By Desire Thompson

Burna’s Boy’s mother delivered a special message while accepting the honor for “Best International Act” at the BET Awards. Bose Ogulu, the manager and mother of the Afro-fusion musician accepted the award on her son’s behalf.

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Burna Boy wins 2019 BET Best International Act Award

By Jayne Augoye

Nigerian afro-fusion artiste, Damini Ogulu, popularly known as Burna Boy, has won the 2019 BET best international act award. The talented singer floored Teni Makanaki and Mr Eazi to win the coveted category in the award.

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Nigeria’s Burna Boy, Teni, Mr Eazi Nominated for BET Awards

By Urowayino Warami

Nigerian music stars Burna Boy, Teni and Mr Eazi have been nominated in different categories for the Black Entertainment Television (BET) awards.

The BET Awards were established in 2001 to celebrate yearly African-Americans and other American minorities in music, acting, sports, and other fields of entertainment.

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TOBi Is The Nigerian-Canadian Musician Taking North America By Storm

By Adewojumi Aderemi

Growing up in Nigeria, there is a clearly prescribed mode in which genders must be performed: women are the caretakers; men are the financial providers. Men must also be the emotionless defenders of everyone, particularly the women, around them. 

Coupled with his time spent watching American films of valiant men, such as Rockyand Commando, it was this image of machismo that Oluwatobi Ajibolade ascribed to being a man. It is this image that the Nigerian-Canadian artist hopes to redefine with his debut album, STILL.

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Nigerian superstar, Tiwa Savage, signs with Universal Music Group

One of the biggest African female acts, Tiwa Savage, has signed a record deal with Universal Music Group.

Some of the facilitators present at the signing of the deal at UMG office in California wereJoel KatzEfe OgbeniVanessa Amadi (Stealth Management), Sipho Dlamini, Managing Director of Universal Music South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa (English-speaking), Adam Granite, Executive Vice President, Market Development at Universal Worldwide and Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group Worldwide.

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Mr. Eazi and Burna Boy highlight the rise of afrobeats at Coachella

By Makeda Easter

This has been a particularly global year for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. The lineup also includes Nigerian stars Mr. Eazi and Burna Boy, two artists representing afrobeats, a genre that’s steadily gaining traction in the U.S. and beyond.

It’s not the first year that Coachella has hosted Nigerian artists. The 2012 performance of Seun Kuti & Egypt 80, featuring Fela Kuti’s youngest son and band, is just one example of the handful of the country’s artists who have played the Indio festival. And 2018 was expected to be a big moment for afrobeats at Coachella when Wizkid was booked, but he missed the gig due to visa issues.

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Discover Sons Of Sonix, the British-Nigerian duo looking to spread Afropop to the world

By Adewojumi Aderemi

Just last week, Kida Kudz released another infectious single, “Jiggy Bop”, which saw him unveil even more of his rap range than we had heard on his previous hits, “Issa Vibe” and “Again”.

While Kid Kudz’s melodic delivery certainly made the song extra catchy, it’s the fantastic production work, particularly its mystical beat, that pushed the track over the edge, and that’s all thanks to British-Nigerian production duo, Sons of Sonix.

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