It’s been a while since the last Sound of Africa mix. This time around we showcase a bunch of big tunes coming out of Nigeria - including brand spanking new music from P-Square, J. Martins, and Dr. Sid, among others.
We also decided to expand our focus to include some of the amazing african dancehall bubbling up from artists like Kenya’s Redsan, Uganda’s Bebe cool and Selekta Kraze, Nigeria’s Burna Boy, and last but not least - Ghana’s favorite new artist - Shatta Wale.
Push play and enjoy the workout.
Roses (Na So E Suppose Be) - Burna Boy
Butter Was Here - Ajebutter22
Oyari ft. Tiwa Savage - Dr. Sid
Yawa Dey (Extended Intro) - Burna Boy
Zeee - Selekta Kraze
Badder Than Most (Remix feat. Demarco) - Redsan
Tonemesa - Bebe Cool
Angella - Sizza Man
Riddim - Timron
Shatta City - Shatta Wale
Nobody Move - Bebe Cool
Surulere ft Don Jazzy - Dr. Sid
Tonga ft Sarkodie - Joey B
Omo Pastor feat. BOJ - Ajebutter22
Fever feat. Shatta Wale - D2 Fever
Odo - R2Bee’s
My # 1 (Numero Uno) feat. Kay Switch & May D - DJ Neptune
Taste The Money (Testimony) - P-Square
On Top Your Matter - Wizkid
Oshe (feat. Awilo Longomba) - Praiz Oshe
Eminado feat. Don Jazzy - Tiwa Savage
Skelewu - Davido Skelewu
Baby Tornado - Dr. Sid
Dancehall King - Shatta Wale
Ekoloma Demba - Timaya
Emmah feat. D’Banj - Kcee
Oputakumo - Terry G
Gallardo Feat. Davido - Runtown
Malo Nogedi feat. Terry G - Timaya
Pull Over feat. Wizkid - Kcee
Fo Ma Pele (Le retour du Ziguéhi) [feat. Toofan] - Charly Watta
Paper - Sheyman
Away - Iyanya
Nous les Meilleurs feat. Fally Ipupa (Juan G. DJ Tool Re-Edit) - D’Banj
Fine Fine Love - J. Martins
Chop Ogbono - Dr Sid
Gentleman (feat. Davido & Don Jazzy) - D’Prince
Chinko - Wizboy
Faro (feat. DJ Arafat & Fally Ipupa) - J. Martins
We’re already gearing up for our big African festival this summer! if you’re in the bay area, please check us out at:
I was surprised to find that we haven’t featured any full-length albums by this Ghanaian guitarist great. Best to remedy that ASAP.
Alex “One Man Thousand” Konadu, who passed away in 2011, was a Ghanaian musical icon, best known for a string of hits in the 70s, including the widely popular “Asaase Asa.” As a young boy, he was heavily influenced by the concert parties - traveling vaudeville shows with musical accompaniment - that often visited his home town. He started his musical career shortly after finishing school in the mid 60s. a decade later and he would be regarded as one of the leading highlife performers of his time.
His music embodies the quintessential essence of guitar-driven highlife from that period. His popularity became apparent to me during our travels through Ghana, where most copies of his albums were often beat from repeated use. Even up to present day, go to Kumasi - the heart of the Ashanti people - and you will no doubt hear his music blaring out of big cabinet speakers near the market or see a live concert DVD of his playing in one of the long distance buses at the trot-trot stations.
The album we feature today - “Agyata Wuo” was released in 1979 and came at the height of his career. Unfortunately, it also came at the cusp of political unrest. Like many other Ghanaian artists, his musical output was disrupted by the curfews imposed upon the entire nation. Luckily for us, however, we still have his recordings to remind us of his greatness.
When I’m not playing around with music and african records, I take pictures. Here’s a few from last night’s Tarrus Riley show in SF.
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Those of us obsessed with West African funk & Afrobeat are familiar with the name Vis-á-Vis. Most notedly, they were the backup band - Under the pseudonym, Cubano Fiestas - for K. Frimpong on his classic recordings (some of which we previously featured here & here). They also recorded with Ivorian funkster Pierre Antoine, and were the house band for Ofo Brothers records, and occasionally recorded as a stand alone unit led by vocalist Isaac Yeboah.
Their 1980 album, “Obi Agye Me Dofo,” is often noted as their solo masterpiece, featuring two monster afro-funk tunes - the title track “Obi Agye Me Dofo” (which has a striking similarity to Frimpong’s seminal hit “Kyenkyen Bi Adi M’awu”) and the hypnotic “Kankyema” (which first re-appeared on the Danque! comp some years ago).
The band went on to record several albums, including this obscure LP - Passage to Paradise. I have run across most of their other recordings - mostly consisting of highlife numbers - but never heard of this one until recently. The album features yet another signiture Vis-á-Vis funk tune - “M’Abre Agu” as well as some seriously deep highlife. A solid album all the way through. It quickly shot straight to the top of my listening pile. Hope you all enjoy it.
American 60s girl groups have always been a guilty pleasure of mine. Much to my delight, their african counterparts are every bit as delightful.
During one of our vinyl excursions, Lion and I came across this particular recording. it was my first exposure to South African female groups. When I first played it, the songs were reminiscent of Togolese artist, Bella Bellow, but featured a much fuller sound due to the vocal accompaniment. Here’s a little back story on the group and their sound:
The Dark City Sisters (the name refers to the blackout streets of the Alexandra township) was formed in 1958 by famed talent scout and producer, Rupert Bopape, who worked with EMI and Troubadour. The group exemplifes a particular style of South African vocal Mbaqanga, with 4-part female harmonies often accompanied by a solo male backup, which became popular in around the townships of Johannesburg during the 1950s. One of the most famous stars to come to of this scene would be Mariam Makeba who had her own group during this same time called The skylarks.
The Dark City Sisters’ lineup in the studio featured a revolving door of female singers, but a few managed to shine into their own such as Irene Mawela and long-standing member Joyce Mogatusi, who remained in the band until her death in 2012.
Their popularity grew exponentially, and by the mid-sixties they were one of the most popular groups in South Africa.
Star Time with The Dark City Sisters is their first full-length, but consists of previously released singles such as “Rose” and “Change Jive Bafana,” which became a hit within South Africa. The themes covered on here span from tales of the everyday workingman to lost love, all encapsulated by their sweet and haunting falsetto harmonies. A pure joy to listen to.
Latest mix featuring the best roots and culture to come out of Jamaica in a while!
Over the past few ears, Angolan music has garnered a great deal of attention due in no small part to the wonderfully thorough compilations released by Analog Africa and Luka Bop, among others. The abundance of rhythms - ranging from classic semba and rebita to Kizomba and Zouk - have demonstrated the versatility of Angolan music as well as the syncretic relationship Angolans have had with the rest of the portuguese-speaking world. Adding to the mixture is the wide-reaching influence of cuban music - much like in the other popular musical movements of The Congo, Ghana & Sengal. As one writer put it, Angolan music “is not only another link between Africa and Europe, but a connector in the crescent of sounds from the west, center and south of Afro-pop.”
Now, for us there is no better Angolan artist to demonstrate this beautiful melange of influences and sentiments than Mr. Bonga Kwenda. Once an aspiring athlete, Bonga went on to the become the quintessential voice of the Angolan struggle for independence in the 1970s. His 1972 masterpiece, “Mona Mona Ki Ngi Xiça,” speaks of a child he has left behind and the evil that prey upon her. The subliminal message of the song was deemed too subversive for Angolan audiences and generated an arrest warrant for Bonga.
Eventually, he would go into exile, relocate several times around Europe before settling in Portugal, but his message persisted and, in 1975, Angola would join the ranks of other free african nations. Sadly, the achievement was short lived as the country was torn apart by a 27 year-long civil war.
Bonga’s lament proved to be more ever-lasting than anyone could’ve imagined.
The recording featured today - 1976’s Noir, Ton Pays! (Black, Our Country) - is an early french pressing of Bonga’s first solo album - Angola ’72. These songs are some of my absolute favorites by Bonga, and should inspire any listener to dig deeper into Angola’s rich musical history. Along with the aforementioned ”Mona Mona Ki Ngi Xiça,” the album also features “Uengi dia Ngola” and a atmospheric instrumental, “Mu nhango.” Highly recommended.
Hi, The zipped file of Herb Udemba & His African Baby Party is actually Dele Ojo & His Star Brothers Band. I've been collecting versions of bottom belle, so it would be nice to have this old copy. thanks.
I think I fixed the problem. Can you check and let me know? Thanks for the heads up.
Following our recent post about Okyerema Asante’s Ghanaian disco trip, we have another afro-disco gem, courtesy of Nigerian club queen - Nana Love.
Search for her online and you’ll mostly find various posts about her obscurity, and lack of info. The few bits of useful information come straight from the back sleeve: It was recorded in California, She credited as writer/arranger, and features Nigerian funk heavyweight - Harry Mosco - on the album. She was also featured on the 2010 compilation Lagos Disco Inferno (that’s her on the front cover).
And that’s it.
We sometimes take it for granted that we are often able to discover everything about an artist with a few clicks of the mouse. My experience with Nana Love has reminded me of a time when all one could know about an artist was based on the info off the sleeve and record.
Eba’s “Trahison” is one of the biggest records to come out of Côte d’Ivoire during the 1970s. The song aspired to be an anthem for Francophone africa, much like Prince Nico’s “Sweet Mother” - the influence behind Eba’s song - was for Nigeria. ”Trahison” went on to sell millions of copies and made Eba a house hold name.
But the road to Eba’s immortality had a rough start. Against his wife’s wishes, Eba set out to record in Ghana at Ambassador Studios in 1977 with famed producer Papa Disco and Eba’s pan-african band - The Sanwi Star - all in tow. The session was disrupted by a month-long power outage in Accra. With depleted funds and growing concerns (not too mention his wife’s premonitions ringing in his ear), Eba was ready to call it quits and head back home. Luckily for all of us, the power came back on one sunday morning and he managed to record his signature tune, forever leaving his mark on the African musical landscape.