Each Wednesday, The World Africa presents three new musical releases from or inspired by the continent. This week, make way for amazing fusions that blur the boundaries between tradition and modernity.
“Yine Faamam” by Linda Ayupuka
From churches to nightclubs, there is only one step for Linda Ayupuka. This artist from northern Ghana, who will release her first album, God Created Everything, Friday June 24, started singing at the age of 4 in a Christian choir and hasn’t stopped since. Her meeting with producer and multi-instrumentalist Francis Ayamga gave birth to a surprising disco-style gospel where the one who calls herself “cool and humble” sings of his love of God on haunting synths. “The album as a whole is about his creations and his greatness. I know he’s awesome.” she says about the “Creator”.
“Sala Nabina”, by Moktar Gania & Gnawa Soul
Custodians of the Gnawa tradition inherited from slavery in Morocco, Moktar Gania and his group renew the genre by teaming up with guitarist Anoir Ben Brahim and percussionist Yacine Ben Ali. At the end of May, they released their first album, Gnawa Soul, in which we find in particular the Israeli singer Neta Elkayam and whose cover was produced by the London photographer Hassan Hajjaj. Hypnotic guembri cascades, electric guitar riffs, mystical vocal flights… Listed in 2019 as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity by Unesco, the music of Essaouira has not finished reinventing itself.
“Banza Banza”, from Congotronics International
Ten singers, five guitarists, three thumb piano players, five percussionists, two bass players and three drummers. Congotronics International is a “supergroup” bringing together formations from the Democratic Republic of Congo (Konono n° 1 and Kasai Allstars), the United States, Argentina and Sweden. A mixture of ritual music, DIY instruments, experimental rock and electric guitars, this confusing fusion was born during the Congotronics vs Rockers tour in 2011. Ten years later, the album Where’s The One, released at the end of April, presents twenty-one pieces from concerts or produced in the studio.
Find all the editorial staff’s musical favorites in the YouTube playlist of the World Africa.
Blue suburbs takes up its summer quarters
After the festival in the spring, Banlieues Bleues takes place from June 24 to July 24 as a “summer camp”, with twenty free concerts in thirteen towns in Seine-Saint-Denis.
And the least we can say is that Africa will be well represented, notably with the rap of Ami Yerewolo (Mali) and Dope Saint Jude (South Africa) on 1er July on the forecourt of the Public Theater of Montreuil, the jazz of the South Africans of the group Spaza and the trombonist Malcolm Jiyane Tree-O on July 7 at the Dynamo de Pantin, or the ethioprance of the group Kutu on July 15 on Clichy-sous-Bois beach.
Without forgetting the Senegalese rappers Fou Malade & Niagass, the Ghanaians Gyedu-Blay Ambolley and Alogte Oho, the Daughters of Illighadad (Niger), the DJs Hibotep (Somalia) and ISS 814 (Senegal)… Beautiful moments in perspective.