Bio: Phiona Okumu has written for Y Magazine, Oprah Magazine, Marie Claire, Elle, Straight No Chaser, Shook, Arise, www.rage.co.za etc. Her favourite Africans are Kenyans, and then Ghanaians. But she's neither. Often she can be found navigating the social media maze to engage with world-wise, afro-centred, Hip-hop predisposed peers. Follow her on www.twitter.com/ophiona
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This single is out 8 July. A few weeks prior to that if you’re knocking about in Brooklyn you can catch Petite Noir supporting Solange Knowles at the Northside Festival.
Roberto-Took You Vs Louie Bello-Electric Relaxation
Banky W-Yes/No Vs Nicki Minaj-Moment 4 Life
Nameless-Deadly Vs Chris Brown-Fine China
R2Bees-It’s Alright Vs Justin-Suit & Tie
D’Banj-Fall In Love Vs Alicia Keys-Empire State Of Mind II
Fnaire-Sah Raoui Vs Twista-Wetter
Mzekezeke-Uphumzeke Vs Consequence-Whatever U Want
Wanlov The Kubolor-Smallest Time Vs Ciara-Love Sex Magic
Kenrazy-Ti Chi Vs RichGirl-He Ain’t wit Me Now (Tho)
SAMA nominee Zaki Ibrahim. Photo (c) Digital Forest Studio
In another life, for under a year in 2003 I was on the team that edited Y Magazine, the print magazine that belonged to Jozi-based youth radio station YFM once iconic, now defunct. That August we wheeled out the obligatory women’s day theme with which to dress the cover. Grasping at straws, we searched for prolific female singers with sufficient urban youth relevance. “Femme Fatale: Mzansi’s Ladies of R&B Inspire Us All” was the cover line we settled on, never guessing what fates awaited our bevy of cover girls: Tsakani ‘TK’ Mhinga died 3 years later from a drug overdose. KB Moysilanyane is an actress with a singing past. Wanda Baloyi juggles the worlds of Smooth Jazz and Gospel nowadays, I hear. Lira, most remarkably, turned her fortunes around from being the awkward R&B addition to the roster of 999, a record label spear-headed by Arthur Mafokate, the proclaimed King of Kwaito. A career-changing shift to her current middle of the road, adult contemporary style combined with a generically Afrocentric and wholesome girl-next-door appeal is what transformed Lira into a household name from here through Kenya to Nigeria. It’s hard to imagine that an African artist singing standard R&B would have been selected to perform at president Obama’s inauguration in January as she was. Every one of her releases has since been a South African Music Awards contender – notably not in the R&B grouping. It seems that category is now reserved for artists whose names will be forgotten by the next awards ceremony.
Even Loyiso Bala who for a while positioned himself in the R&B male singer space has defected to the more forgiving (and more lucrative) faith-based category. And who can blame him?
SA-made R&B is pretty much a non-starter that suffers from an identity crisis that it seems even South African Hip-hop, for all its woes, is finally beginning to triumph over. To see the competitors in the Best Hip-hop category (Khuli Chana, Proverb and Reason) multiply nominated elsewhere for Best Male Artist signals another small victory in rap’s long standing battle for mainstream acceptance.
Globally, there’s talk of a renaissance in R&B music, which for so long was only good for the hooks of Hip-hop tracks or bastardised further with the one-size-fits-all treatment by the likes of dance-pop producer Dave Guetta. The emergence of left-leaning (and popular) singer/songwriters like Frank Ocean or the Canada’s Drake-endorsed TheWeeknd and even hipster favourite Solange promise a kind of spring for the genre internationally.
But the more things change, back here in South Africa it seems, the more things stay the same and even regress.
With no formidable champion in sight everyone has been content to have Reggae music bubble in its own separate little underworld to what the industry counts. As far as the South African mainstream is concerned Reggae doesn’t exist.
Inexplicably the two are now linked in the new category best R&B/Soul/Reggae. This award will be presented tonight in the part of the 2-day ceremony which is not broadcast.
There is nothing in common between these two genres other than their inability to scrape together a following large enough to support sales. The only logical step from here would be to scrap them both it seems. At least that would be better than this slap in the face disguised as props for nominees Kabomo (Memory Remains), Khaya Mthethwa (For You), Lulu Dikana (This is the Life), The Muffinz (Have you Heard?) and Zaki Ibrahim (Every Opposite).
The MTN SAMA 19 will be broadcast live on SABC1 on Saturday May 11th at 20h30.
The awards will also stream live. For more info visit http://samusicawards.co.za/
And here we have it. Reason number 10256 why the exceptional rapping and singing talent that is E.L. deserves all the praise.
Prepare for the circus as the the trial in the wrongful death lawsuit filed against Anschutz Entertainment Group by Michael Jackson’s mother and three children begins today. Whatever the case, his legacy stands uncontested. Get a load of Edu’s tribute to pop music’s greatest to ever do it. Don’t stop till you get enough!
Check out Edu on BBC 1Xtra.
Magic System-Amoulanga Vs MJ-Remember The Time
Nameless-Ninanoki Vs MJ-Black Or White
Malaika-Mhla’uphel’ Amandla Vs MJ-Bad
Castro-Boneshaker Vs MJ-Rock With You
Magic System-Lion Affame Vs MJ-Billie Jean
Dj Walker & Senyaka-Sweety My Lovey Vs MJ-Smooth Criminal
Sis & Jones-Set Your Mind Free Vs MJ-You Are Not Alone
Deborah-Uncle Obama Vs MJ-Beat It
I owe Rudimental a debt I can’t calculate. Because of them I came up on MNEK. And as you know, since then, pretty much anything the kid does makes it on here if I have anything to say about it.
So once again another incredible jam for the bass heads featuring MNEK and another singer/songwriter Sinead Harnett.
Almost every single Afrobeats tune that mattered in the last six months is on this second instalment of DJ Juls’ Afrobeats Mix. Listen and download.
1. Maleek Berry ft Wizkid-The Matter
2. Samini ft Wizkid-Time Bomb (Prod by KillBeatz)
3. Burna Boy-Tonight
4. Keche-Slow Motion (Prod by Lazio Beat)
5. EME ft Wizkid-Dance for Me (Prod by Sarz)
6. Showa Shins & Starboy Wilz ft Mista Silva-Ogede
7. Lola Rae-Watch my Ting Go
8. Major Notes-Abeka Lapaz Dance
Ft Dex Kwasi and Stargo-Wawolo Remix (Prod by DJ Juls)
11. Eldee-Today Today (Prod by Sarz)
12. Shank-Ghetto (Prod by Sarz)
13. Addiction ft Brymo-Down Low
14. Yaw Siki- Jeggings Party (Prod by KillBeatz)
15. Yaw Siki ft KillBeatz-Blow my Mind
16. E.L-You dey mad, you dey craze
17. Atumpan-Toh Bad
18. Antenna Instrumental
19. Fuse ODG Antenna (Prod by KillBeatz)
20. 4X4-London Bridge (Prod by Nshonna)
21. Criss Waddle ft Bisa-Ayi (Prod by KillBeatz)
22. Bunny Mack-Let me Love You
23. Sarz feat Wizkid-Samba(Beat of Life)
24. Chuddy K-Gaga Crazy
25. Olamide-First Of All
26. D-Black ft Joey B-Vera (Prod by Nshonna)
27. Gemini-Sweetie (Prod by E.L)
28. Timaya ft Terry G-Malo Nogede
29. J-Town ft Ice Prince and E-Fine-1+1
31. Femi Kuti-Beng Beng Beng
32. Bunny Mack ft Bugz-Let me Love You Remix
34. May D-Use Me
36. Ice Prince Aboki
37. Fokn Bois-Only Your Walkings
38. Ofori Amponsah-Otoolege
39. Rex Omar-Abiba
40. R2Bees ft Sarkodie and Nana Boroo-Ajeii
41. E.L and C-Real-Wey Tin Dey Hoppen
42. 9Nice-Gongo Aso
43. Duncan Almighty-Dance For Me
44. J Martins-Jupa
45. ShowDemCamp ft Poe and BOJ-Feel Alright (Prod by Juls)
46. E.L-Egbee Mli
47. D’Prince-Goody Bag
48. Iyanya-Your Waist
49. Iyanya ft Wizkid-Sexy Mama
50. D’Prince-Take Banana
53. EME ft Wizkid-Get Down Tonight
54. Burna Boy-Like to Party
This week, Duke Dumont’s Need U (100%) became the first iTunes number one written by the unstoppable MNEK. What a lovely coincidence that the tune appears in this week’s mash-up opposite Zaki Ibrahim’s rarely heard remix for Insomnia by Culoe De Song. *throws confetti*
Audius-Saka Manje Vs The Saturdays-What About
Sarkodie-Azonto Fiesta Vs RDX-Kotch
Zaki Ibrahim-Ansomnia (remix) Vs Duke Dumont-Need U (100%) ft A*M*E
Aero Manyelo-Mexican Girl Vs Tank-Shots Fired ft Chris Brown
Young Kalawa Jazmee-Turn Around Vs Calvin Harris-I Need Your Love ft Ellie Goulding
P-Square-Alingo Vs Monica-Until It’s Gone
Anis Halloway-Think I Love You Vs Nicki Minaj-Super Bass
D’Elaborate Nossca-Sky Vs Jeremih-All The Time ft Lil Wayne & Natasha Mosley
Timaya-Bom Bom Vs Frank Ocean-Thinking About You
A great cover of a cover by one of London’s next wave soul talents.
The Young Rascals’ number one hit Groovin’ caught the ear of
Aretha Franklin, who recorded it for her 1967 album Lady Soul.
That’s the version that London-based singer/songwriter Kadija Kamara nods to , fittingly on the birthday of Aretha whom she cites as one inspiration for her vintage soul sound.
Kadija has worked with, and is currently working with a handful of great producers within the dance music scene, including Joey Negro, Mark De Clive Lowe, Zed Bias, Fanatix & Chris Samba. Within the Hip-Hop scene Theory Hazit, Sway and many more.
Download Groovin’ for a limited time only here.
Radio Afro house expert Sef Kombo joins Edu on DNA as does Naija it-boy Lynxxx. Listen to the full show here. Take away Edu’s mash-up mix below.
Ice Prince-Aboki Vs Ciara-Body Party
Donald-Over The Moon Vs Sevyn Streeter-I Like It
Itz Tiffany-Forever ft Mugeez Vs Chris Brown-Don’t Wake Me Up
STR-Maninja Vs Calvin Harris-We’ll Be Coming Back ft Example
Itz Tiffany-Akyee Wo Vs Usher-Numb
D’Banj-Oliver Twist Vs Calvin Harris-Sweet Nothing ft Florence Welch
Keche-Aluguntugui Vs Big Sean-Marvin Gaye & Chardonnay Vs Skrillex & Damian Marley-Make It Bun Dem
Following the release of their critically acclaimed mix-tape Clone Wars 2: The Subsidy in December 2012, Show Dem Camp have started off 2013 with a brand new single titled Feel Alright which features Poe (Show DemRecords) and Boj (DRB Las
Feel Alright, produced by our guy DJ Juls (Ghana) is a unique feel-good record as it merges traditional West -African high-life music with the very best of modern-day hip-hop.
Check out the track below and download it here.