Category Archives: African

Kiss Daniel – Woju (featuring Davido, Tiwa Savage)

20-year-old and upcoming Nigerian artist Daniel Anidupe, better known as Kiss Daniel, has recently recorded a remix of his second hit song Woju. The remix is close to the initial version that was released 6 months ago, but now enriched by solos from non other than Tiwa Savage and Davido. The sticky rumba-like guitar (apparently from Fiokee who also did the lines on Scapegoat from D’Banj) is still very much dominating the rhythm.

It is admirable how often the Nigerian music industry comes to successful collaborations and it is probable that Kiss Daniel is here to stay.

J. Martins featuring Youssou N’Dour

Nigerian singer and producer J. Martins (1977) has recorded a song featuring the legendary Youssou N’Dour (1959) from Senegal. The song is titled Time Is Now, and is a heartfelt call to raise peoples’ consciousness and for a positive change to improve the African continent.

2015.02.01 J Martins & Youssou N'Dour - Time Is Now

The two voices wonderfully join together on a calm beat. Youssou N’Dour sends shivers down the spine in his native language, while J. Martins gives a more urban taste to the song in English. The pace of the music allows you to listen to the song’s message clearly.
The video could be seen as provocative, as it highlights some of the challenges Africa is facing (hunger, disease, corruption and lack of basic health care).

The song by these two internationally acclaimed artists is calling for more of such collaborations between two generations.

Flavour – Thankful

One of the big names in the naija (Nigerian) music scene, Flavour N’Abania, has recently released his 4th album, Thankful. After establishing his reputation with songs like Nwa Baby (Ashawo Remix) and Adamma, Flavour’s new cd definitely confirms his musical merit.

What is nice about Flavour is that he remains fairly faithful to the (Igbo) highlife genre. This is demonstrated by the first few songs of the album, such as the opening song Keneya (original three-four time), being one of my favorite songs along with the more up-tempo Ife Adigomma and Uru Dia (Shake 2).

Thankful contains different featured artists such as Wande Coal, who joins in the hit song Wake Up, as well as female singer Chidinma who adds a lot of harmony to the balad song Ololufe.

Altogether the album is one of Nigeria’s best releases this year. As with all African releases they can either be found in the music shops on the continent itself or via iTunes.

Mais Kizomba Hits 2

Many music collectors and enthusiasts like myself don’t easily get excited about a CD with various artists. Quite often those records are a compilation of two hit songs supplemented with disappointing songs that are literally cheap because little or no compensation is required by the original record labels. How different is the Mais Kozomba Hits 2 compilation, that was released last month. Almost all songs are outstanding, which makes it one of the best buys to introduce oneself in the kizomba genre.

It is obvious to point out the biggest kizomba hit on the album, the song Jajão by the Angolan artists Master Jake and Eddy Flow, an instant hit on the kizomba dance floors.

With the increasing significance of the music genre and expanding popularity of the dance style, it is interesting to see how the music adapts to a more urban character, while drawing inspiration from zouk, heavy (house) beats, R&B and indigenous (African) music. The two songs below are good examples of this phenomenom.

The CD offers a great section through kizomba in the Lusophone African countries, Brasil and Portugal. Only those who favor French kizomba should look for another compilation, for Mais Kizomba is focusing on Portuguese music.

Afro-Latino Festival 2014

Belgium is a country of high quality festivals, and the 16th anniversary of Afro-Latino Festival in Bree was no exception. Since the last couple of years, the line-up competes with the festival’s big brother, the Antilliaanse Feesten. This year’s edition featured Daddy Yankee, Busy Signal, Farruko, DLG, Kes the Band, Fonseca, Vena (ex-Aventura) and Orquesta SCC (La Excelencia).

2014.06.23 Afro-Latino

Deep down the festival is more Latin and Caribbean than African. That’s okay, considering the fact that contemporary African artists are difficult to book without a network, especially compared to their South American counterparts. And a bit less reliable too.

The festival terrain had 3 stages and a 4th stage for DJ’s and dancing salsa. That’s a lot of space for only 7000 visitors. What striked me was the young crowd with many local people and families. This had an up side and a down side to it. Good was the laid back atmosphere at the festival terrain and the fact that one could easily obtain a front row seat. But, most guests didn’t seem to know any of the songs that were played and the night sometimes lacked the intensity of a real Latin party.
That could also be said from the campsite. Only one booming sound system, not much of drinking rum and no barbecues allowed, but a friendly vibe. In Bree they don’t have the commercial mentality of bigger festivals, no fights, no queuing in front of the shower and no tall security checks.

In conclusion the festival is highly recommended for next year, but unfortunately the organization is having financial problems due to a negative balance twice in a row.

Tiken Jah Fakoly – Dernier Appel

Tiken Jah Fakoly has announced his 8th studio album by launching its title song, Dernier Appel. This time the Ivorian reggae singer has swapped the sword of his previous album (African Revolution) for a speaker.

Tiken Jah Fakoly - Dernier Appel

One would have to appreciate the fact that Tiken Jah upholds the French language, risking a smaller audience. His new song sets high expectations for the upcoming album, and fans of African reggae will instantly pick up on the warm french flow so typical for this sub genre.

The album Dernier Appel will be released on June 2 and contains 10 songs, 3 of them with featured artists: Alpha Blondy, Nneka and Patrice.

Daddy Lumba – Awoso

There is a range of legendary artists on the African continent with a big track record behind their names, who just seem to forget promotion of their music. It can be very difficult with those artists to take notice of their new releases. Take Daddy Lumba for instance, Ghana top highlife vocalist with 27 albums to his credit. Some 2 months ago he has released a new album called Awoso. There is one particular song instantly taking me back to the streets of Accra and Kumasi and that I would like to share, Nea Nyame Tumi Ye.

The vocals, guitar and bass seem to be the only parts that are recorded in the studio, but the rest is just as well part of the Lumba vibes easily reaching your ears. This is one to put on repeat for a while (or skip back to 5:34 in the video).

P-Square – Taste The Money (Testimony)

A very uplifting hit song has come out of Nigeria from star duo P-Square this week. The tune follows up Personally and also refers to other hits such as E No Easy and Chop My Money. The naija twins deliver a very sticky song that will hit all over Africa and beyond.

The song is free for download and likely to be housed on their forthcoming studio album: one to look forward to. Them a killing the beat and giving them hit!

Dr. Jose Chameleone – Tubonge

Jose Chameleone

Dr. Jose Chameleone has released a new song called ‘Tubonge’. It was issued this week and according to his Facebook profile the video clip is ‘charged up’. Tubonge is trying out his trusty recipe, merging rumba guitars, gospel and an African zouk beat. The song is more up-tempo and less repetitive than ‘Badilisha‘, his previous hit single, and the build-up to the chorus is likely to take crowds away instantly. 

Unlike many of his West-African contemporaries, Ugandan superstar Chameleone often sings in his native language (Luganda), immersing his songs in African swag.
Enjoy his new hit song and check the video!

Lucky Dube In Retrospective

How many people would take a moment today to reflect on the killing of Lucky Dube?
I have always enjoyed his music best in a live setting, and therefore would like to share the opening of his last concert on Ugandan soil, playing a packed stadium in Kampala.

Lucky Dube’s music, live performances and admirable personality were highly appreciated all over the world. May he live forever through his music.

Lucky Dube
Lucky Dube (3 August 1964 – 18 October 2007)