On air this week is “Festivals Around the World,” produced by Sean Barlow. We travel to Zanzibar to enjoy highlights from the Sauti za Busara Festival, focused on Swahili sounds from coastal East Africa, then north to the Fes Festival of Sacred World Music in Morocco, where we hear the ecstatic sounds of Sufi artists performing late into the night. We go to Dakar, Senegal for the Coca-Cola Ebony Festival to enjoy Afropop headliners, and wind up in Mali for rousing performances at the Festival sur le Niger this past winter.
In our latest Afropop Closeups podcast “Fees Must Fall: A Voice of Change in South Africa,” produced by Simon Rentner and hosted by Sarah Geledi, we meet 21-year-oldGigi Lamayne of South Africa, a singer/rapper who finds herself at the center of her country’s most important debate and social movement in decades: the #FeesMustFall movement. The day she graduated from university, Gigi dropped a protest song about rising education costs that effectively bar the majority of black South Africans from access to higher education: a new cause for a new time. Be sure to watch Gigi’s “Fees Will Fall” video here.
Sebastian Bouknight has two photo essays from BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival at Prospect Park. The first photo essay features Egyptian shaabi star Hakim and the London-based Ethiopian trio Krar Collective, while the second features Nigerian Afrobeat starFemi Kuti and Tuareg musician Bombino.
While on the topic of Femi Kuti, our latest “Best of The Beat” feature from 1995 puts the spotlight on a young Femi coming into his own as a bandleader/musician. Read it here.
Legendary Nigerian juju musician King Sunny Adé returns to Brooklyn on Aug. 19 with Nigerian Afrobeat musician Wunmi as the opening act. The show will be at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple. Click here for more details.
Simon DeBevoise has a video premier of “Little Bit More” by Nigerian-American singerJidenna, as well as a video from Malian rapper Mylmo N’Sahel, who raps about the history of Mali from ancient times to the present. Check it out here.
Huge congrats go out to Tobagonian singer Calypso Rose, who will be honored with theWOMEX Artist Award during its annual meeting in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, in October.
For New Yorkers: Tonight, July 29, Angelique Kidjo presents a tribute to Celia Cruz at the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival with Pedrito Martinez. Also tonight, July 29, Nigerian star Davido appears at Lincoln Center Out of Doors with Brooklyn Afrobeat bandAntibalas. Don’t miss Ivorian reggae star Alpha Blondy at SummerStage Marcus Garvey Park on Aug 16. Nigerian juju legend King Sunny Adé performs at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple with special guest Wunmi on Aug 19. Take care,
The Afropop Crew
Festivals Around the World
Fees Must Fall: A Voice of Change in South Africa
Music Video: Gigi Lamayne's “Fees Will Fall”
Photo Essay: Femi Kuti and Bombino at BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn!
Mylmo N’Sahel Raps the History of Mali
Angelique Kidjo Celebrates the Music of Celia Cruz