Category Archives: Africa

Konono N°1 record with Bjork, tour US

I have to admit that the Congolese outfit Konono N°1 is not my favourite band. In fact, their saturated sound drive me nuts. But they are unique, which is probably reason enough for Bjork to invite them to record on her new album alongside Timbaland and Antony. They have a new release out (“Live in… Read More »

Magic System to appear in the UK

One of the most popular acts in France at the moment are Magic System, the Ivory Coast band that has chalked up a number of major hits such as “Premier Gaou” and “Bouger, Bouger”. They have so far totalled over 2 million singles in France alone, as well as 400,000 albums. Their mainstream version of… Read More »

BBC launches new “Africa beyond” website

Anyone interested in the African scene might already know the BBC’s Africa Beyond, which celebrates African arts in the UK. The site covers the entire continent, illustrating the extraordinary diversity of the 54 African nations. More specifically, the new site wil incorporate “Africa on Your Street” that covers everything from Afrobeat to M’balax plus gig… Read More »

Manou Gallo: 2nd album and documentary

Ivory Coast’s Manou Gallo is one of the most in-demand bassists in Europe. After playing with Zap Mama for six years and appearing in a play, she released her first album, “Dida” on the IglooMondo label in 2003. A documentary now traces her worldwide tour and the release of the second album…

Dig music, build something positive

The people over at Calabash Music have had a neat idea. Despite what many people think, the US spends less than 1% of its federal budget on foreign aid. As Calabash points out, “If everyone in the United States gave up one soft drink a month we could double our current aid to Africa. If… Read More »

Ugandan Hip-Hop: “no bling”

It might just sound like some place on a map, but Uganda also has its “yoof”. And they have things to say – which is hardly surprising when you see the chaos they have to deal with. Like in most African countries these days, Hip-Hop acts as the pressure valve, social commentary and popular entertainment.… Read More »

Fifa Street track hits virtual streets

“Fou Ho” from Sur-Choc has remained one of the most enigmatic tracks from the Fifa Street game. The tune was picked up after becoming a runaway hit in the clubs of Abidjan, Ivory Coast. The makers of “Fifa Street 2005” were looking for a track with a gritty feel. Sur-Choc are one of the creators… Read More »

“Bunny” Benaissa sells rap video

Rappers are doing it for themselves! Although there is a perception that rap artists roll around in Mercs drinking Crissy with their female companions, the reality is different. In Europe particularly, they have only themselves to rely on. There are big labels, but rap is not their priority. So performers have to make sure their… Read More »

Georges Brassens gets unlikely tribute

Few artists are revered in the French-speaking worlds as Georges Brassens. His gentle songs about country life, accompanied by acoustic guitar, have been a staple of chanson française since the fifties. Yet his latest tribute comes from an unlikely source: Africa. Singer Kristo Numpuby is currently touring with a show called “Brassens en Afrique”. It… Read More »