My mind back-tracked to one afternoon in the mid-2000s during a radio programme on BBC World. I recalled running around the house looking for a spare tape onto which to record that moment. Tony Allen was being interviewed, a man of whom great things were spoken. It was Allen’s loose groove which drove many of Fela Kuti’s seminal releases, including Expensive shit, a personal favourite. My memory of the nineties [...]
All photos ©Al Nicoll The premise for this gig was highly ambitious: Line up 9 urban music acts – some South African and others from East and West Africa – in a stadium-sized arena with one high profile American headliner in Durban. Up until now the more obvious host city would have been Johannesburg (if anywhere in South Africa) or elsewhere on the continent, where any and all of these acts [...]
Fanie Fourie’s Lobola is an authentic South African love story about two people from different cultural backgrounds. The film is a raw depiction of the issues that arise in the country’s multicultural society when love happens across canadian pharmacy lines of colour and tradition. Audiences are raving about it: Lobola has already won the Film Festival Audience Award at this year’s Jozi Film Festival as well as the Audience Award [...]
In two of the paintings on show at Vincent Michea’s first UK exhibition the artist is present, front and centre but obscured. His back is to the audience and he is primarily made up of dots, painted into being point by point. In Before The Big Spalsh this invisible visible self is looking over and out onto a busy swimming pool. Then in Ma Pincée de Tuiles from somewhere up [...]
Nadia Denton decided to pool together the knowledge amassed from her association with film festivals both in the UK and abroad. She wrote this guide as an aid to filmmakers through the entire filmmaking process from the initial financing to the marketing and distribution.
When you are a child of West African parents and of a first generation raised in the West understanding Africa is about reconciling all the Africas you know. Guy Tillim’s photos can help you do this, they invoke feelings of being in flux, up and down and in the middle, of definitions in transition. Read our review of this riveting exhibition.
Chiwele Ejiofor’s stellar TV debut, Paul Kagame proves again why he is the world’s most down-ass president, Sly Johnson goes all soulful, and Olivier Rousteing’s new fashion posting: Just some of the 6 things we’re talking about right now. Read more…
BBC Four has run a series on the life of the controversial political icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. Pop the hood for an excerpt of Part 3.
At first I couldn’t work out why MTV Base Africa would want to return to Nigeria to host their annual awards show so soon after their first ever event in 2008 was held in Abuja. But on second thought it wasn’t that much of a stretch. Nigeria’s 50th anniversary of independence, as much a point of contention for some, as a cause for celebration for others (like us) means that Naija has been hella topical in 2010. So the context was there. Also, a glance at the MAMA 2010 nominations confirms the choke-hold that Naija pop has on African’s urban music scene
What exactly is the use of a hidden track? Especially nowadays when no one’s willing to wait, and there’s every chance you’ll miss it. Which would be a shame in the case of Tumi’s second solo album. Usain Bolt, tucked away 5 minutes of silence after the brief, mournful title song featuring Canadian MC Ian Kamau, is possibly this album’s best cut. It’s what Johannesburg’s Hip-hop industry looks like through [...]
This Bitch sings when she wants to, some NYC graffiti accurately surmised the frustration and respect awarded to Ms Adu and company’s infrequent output. The songstress herself prefers to state they only produce music when she has something to say. Soldier of Love could be seen as faint political commentary on the nature of war or meditations on the tyranny of love but it sounds just as much like a [...]
Available now on DVD is Soul Power, a documentary about the legendary Zaire ’74 festival which brought North American stars like Celia Cruz, James Brown, Bill Withers, Miriam Makeba and B.B. King to the stage during the famed “Rumble in the Jungle” match between Muhammad Ali and George Forman in 1974.
Nas and Damian “Jr Gong” Marley have teamed up to record Distant Relatives, a cross-cultural opus that brandishes both lyricists skills and bridges the gap between hip-hop and reggae. The project is expected to drop in March 2010 and the duo is taking an unorthodox approach to promotion by helming a panel on December 12th that featured hip hop greats, reggae legends and music intelligentsia.
Fela Kuti is arguably the most visible African star in music history. His passion, art and struggles are emblematic of the modern African experience and his significance transcends his native Nigeria. He was defiant and original; at once a loyal steward of distinct West African rhythms and a pioneer in deftly crafting a sound that was the sum of global rebel music from funk to hard-bop. He is often viewed [...]