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Acid Jazz Band Incognito

29 Mai 2021 , Rédigé par www.afrocultureblog.com Publié dans #Incognito, #blacklegacy, #afroculture, #music, #2021, #carosika, #ENG, #uk

Acid Jazz Band Incognito

Incognito Band is an Acid Jazz Band founded by Mauritius-born Jean-Paul Maunick, nicknamed Bluey, and the late Paul 'Tubbs' Williams. They first made their debut with a disco-funk group in the 1970s known as Light of the World but in time made a few personal changes to it and renamed it Incognito. Their first release was Jazz Funk in 1981. Although Paul Williams left the band a while after, Bluey continued to write for the group and other artists, including George Benson and Maxi Priest. Consequently, Bluey also became Incognito's bandleader.

Ten years after Jazz Funk, Incognito released Inside Life, a 1991 album that spawned the single, “Always There,” with vocal track by Jocelyn Brown, which became a top ten hit. Inside Life boasted a large cast that included some of the best funk players in England at the time.

Since then, the band has released a consistent string of high-quality recordings, beginning with Tribes Vibes & Scribes, a 1992 album that marked the first appearance of American vocalist Maysa Leaks in the lineup. Incognito Band also produced numerous hit singles on either side of the Atlantic, including a cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing.”

More than just a band in the traditional sense, Incognito is an ever-changing collective of musicians hand-picked by Bluey from a worldwide pool. The result is a dynamic musical entity that spans a vast range of styles and cultures. Bluey stated that more than 1,000 different musicians and vocalists, from all corners of the earth, have performed for the band, over the years, with lineups varying in size from eight pieces to fourteen (or even larger configurations).To name but a few, current and past members originated from South Africa, India, Brazil, Argentina, Cuba, Trinidad, Jamaica, Israel, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, China, Australia, New Zealand, Russia and much more...Many of the current key members, however, have been in place for several years, including vocalists Joy Rose and Vanessa Haynes. Understandably, the band has toured all over the world and performed in well over 25 countries since their debut.

We had the pleasure of seeing Incognito Band perform at the Happy Days Festival in Surrey alongside many Soul and Funk legendary artists such as Sister Sledge, Sugar Hill Band, Evelyn Champagne King, the British Collective, Jocelyn Brown and many more.

Click below to watch our coverage of the festival, bringing back excellent memories of Live Musical Events.

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Paulette Simpson, one of the most influential Jamaican executive in the UK

21 Mai 2021 , Rédigé par www.afrocultureblog.com Publié dans #paulettesimpson, #afroculture, #blacklegacy, #moneymob, #paulmuhammad, #2021, #ENG, #uk, #jamaica

Photo source: web

Photo source: web

Paulette Simpson is an extremely influental Jamaican lady who wears many hats. She is well known as the Executive Director of the Voice Newspaper (subsidiary of the JN Group), a Black-owned newspaper that has served the Black British community for over 35 years but not only. Paulette Simpson is also the Deputy Chief Executive Officer - Corporate of Affairs of JN Bank Limited in the United Kingdom, Britain's first Caribbean-owned bank and the Deputy Chair of both the Windrush Advisory Panel and the Windrush Commemoration Committee.

Born in England, her grandmother thought best for her granddaughter, Paulette, to be raised in Jamaica and so she returned there as a child. Paulette Simpson attended primary school in both Mizpah and Christiana, before moving on to Manchester High School. As an undergraduate, she returned to the UK and studied at the University of Stirling in Scotland, where she earned a Bachelor of Art Degree in Business Studies (Finance and Marketing). She also later completed a MBA at the University of Westminster. Professionally, she began working at PriceWaterhouse, for a few years, in various positions. She was then recruited by the National Commercial Bank to establish and manage its London office. When the ownership changed in 2002, she was immediately snatched by, what was then, the Jamaica National Building Society. Since, she has worked as Executive, Corporate Affairs and Public Policy at JN representative office in the UK and provides strategic management support for The Voice Newspaper.

Paulette Simpson is considered to be a major player in improving the lives of Jamaicans in the UK and Jamaica, bridging and maintaining Jamaica's connection with its Diaspora. She is very active in the community and assists various charities with their work.

She was recognised twice as one of Britain’s most influential people of African and African-Caribbean heritage in the annual UK Powerlist published by Powerful Media in 2018 and 2019.

Paulette Simpson is also deputy chair of the Windrush Advisory Panel and the Windrush Commemoration Committee in the United Kingdom. As such, she has been honoured for services to the Caribbean community in the UK by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and was conferred with the highest ranking order of Commander of the British Empire.

Click below to watch Paulette Simpson's interview conducted by Paul Muhammad, founder of the MoneyMob movement on the topic of "Supporting Black Businesses" in our Ujamaa series.

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Fuse ODG, a Pan-African Artist and Philanthropist

19 Mai 2021 , Rédigé par www.afrocultureblog.com Publié dans #fuseodg, #music, #artist, #ghana, #theyearofreturn, #kingonamission, #afroculture, #carosika, #2021, #ENG, #uk

Photo Source: Web

Photo Source: Web

Fuse ODG, born Nana Richard Abiona on 2nd December 1988, is a Ghanian Afrobeats rapper, singer and songwriter born in Tooting, London. He is a two-time winner of the Best African Act at the MOBO Awards and came to international fame with his 2012 single 'Antenna'. Working with the likes of Wyclef Jean, Sean Paul and Ed Sheeran, FUSE ODG brought Afrobeats to the general public.

Fuse ODG was raised in Ghana and returned to South London to complete his secondary school. In 2011, a trip back to his homeland started off his musical career. He released a string of Afrobeats singles that melded old African highlife rhythms with western rap and R&B melodies and came to fame with his song 'Antenna' in 2012. His chosen stage name "Fuse" comes from his fusion of musical styles, as he is known for his unusual combination of genres such as Afro-pop, hip-hop, R&B, funk and rock, whilst "ODG" stands for 'Off Da Ground'. 

At 30 years old, FUSE ODG released his second album, New Africa Nation, which encompassed a more ambitious project: building schools to enable children in rural areas in Ghana and Jamaica to access quality education. Besides, his movement TINA 'This is New Africa' (which is also the name of his first album) is all about changing how Africa is perceived internationally. His take is:

"If you are from Africa, your mission should be loving yourself and developing a love for where you are from."

Watch Antenna, FUSE ODG single, that shot him to fame.

Understandably, FUSE ODG has been instrumental in promoting 'the Year of Return', a 2019 initiative of the Ghanaian government, along with the U.S. based Adinkra Group, that is intended to encourage African diasporans to come to Africa (specifically Ghana) to settle and invest in the continent. In support of the year of Return Campaign, he launched Nana Dolls in December 2018, a black doll line for young African girls on the continent. In his announcement, the singer stated that the doll line was an important addition to the cultural representation of the true African girl. He went on to address the problem Africa is facing as Black dolls in Africa only represent 1% of the market. 99% of the toys being sold in Africa are white dolls which condition children to believe that being white is better. His contributions were recognised the same year at The African Diaspora Awards, which celebrates the accomplishments of exemplary individuals from the African Diaspora who excel in various spheres of life, as well as individuals in society working towards the advancement of Africans in the Diaspora and Africa as a whole.

FUSE ODG has now embarked on the new mission of
building a high school in Akosombo, Ghana and refurbishing a secondary school in Jamaica with Reggae artist Chronixx, fitness entrepreneur Chakabars  and artist Donisha (who also happens to be Bob Marley's granddaughter). Students will be equipped with various vocational skills to find work, upon graduation, in industries such as construction, or health and beauty for instance.

For more info, watch one of his latest interview below:

Our cultural mediator, Caro Sika, got a selfie snapshot with FUSE ODG at the latest Black Magic Awards.

Our cultural mediator, Caro Sika, got a selfie snapshot with FUSE ODG at the latest Black Magic Awards.

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Takine Camara, la reine du Bazin

9 Mai 2021 , Rédigé par www.afrocultureblog.com Publié dans #beautécharismatik, #takinecamara, #fashion, #mode, #patrimoine culturel, #carosika, #afroculture, #2021, #FR, #mali

Photo source: Web

Photo source: Web

Takine Camara est une entrepreneure malienne talentueuse et ambitieuse. Elle est créatrice et fondatrice de la marque de mode 'Beauté Charismatik'.

Alors que sa passion pour la mode remonte à sa tendre enfance, Takine Camara la matérialise adulte par le lancement de sa marque 'Beauté Charismatik'. Afin de faire écho à ses origines maliennes et pour se distinguer de la tendance de la mode africaine associée, très et trop souvent, au wax, elle décide de se spécialiser dans la confection de tenues en bazin, une étoffe synonyme de luxe et de richesse portée, notamment en Afrique de l'Ouest, lors des festivités. Le bazin devient donc la signature de marque de Beauté Charismatik, qui confectionne des tenues à la fois modernes et traditionnelles.

Depuis, sa marque fait l'unanimité en Afrique de l'Ouest et dans la diaspora et s'associe au luxe et au prestige. De par ce fait, Takine Camara est conviée à participer à de nombreux évènements de renom tels Miss Mali ou Miss Afrique de l'Ouest où les prétendantes aux titres défilent portant des créations de Beauté Charismatik. Takine Camara a également eu l'opportunité de collaborer avec la marque WATI B pour la Nuit du Mali en habillant son directeur artistique, ainsi que l'artiste Cheick Tidiane Seck. Plus récemment, ce sera l'artiste Mokobe, qui parrainera le premier Fashion Show de Takine Camara au Sénégal ou la grande Diva Internationale Oumou Sangaré qui sera habillée par Beauté Charismatik pour son premier concert à Dubaï.

Bref, 'the sky is the limit' pour cette créatrice et entrepreneure africaine qui n'hésite pas à voyager, à s'inspirer de cultures et expressions artistiques aux quatre coins du monde et à y travailler.

Découvrez-là ci-dessous dans un de ses interviews en compagnie du présentateur et entrepreneur Mohamadou Deme sur KWABO TV.

La créatrice Takine Camara s'entretient avec l'entrepreneur et présentateur Mohamadou Deme.

Nous sommes bien évidemment fan de la marque. C'est pourquoi notre médiatrice culturelle, Caro Sika, a eu l'honneur de porter deux robes de la collection Reine d'Afrique de Beauté Charismatik,
lors de la dernière édition d'Africa Fashion Week à Londres.
Takine Camara, la reine du BazinTakine Camara, la reine du Bazin
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Serge Aimé Coulibaly, un artiste burkinabé engagé

3 Mai 2021 , Rédigé par www.afrocultureblog.com Publié dans #serge aimé coulibaly, #artiste, #danse, #afroculture, #carosika, #2021, #patrimoine culturel, #FR, #burkinafaso

Photo Credit: Lydia Nesvadba

Photo Credit: Lydia Nesvadba

Serge Aimé Coulibaly est né à Bobo Dioulasso le 12 mars 1972. Depuis 2002, il travaille en Europe et dans le monde entier par le biais de la compagnie de danse Faso Danse Théâtre, dont il est le fondateur et directeur artistique . Il fondera également ANKATA, un laboratoire de recherche, création et production des arts de la scène situé à Bobo Dioulasso.

Serge Aimé Coulibaly fait ses débuts au sein de la compagnie Feeren au Burkina Faso, sous la direction d'Amadou Bourou, en tant que comédien, danseur et musicien. Cette première expérience lui permettra de partir en tournée en Afrique et en Europe. En 1998, il est choisi pour chorégraphier le spectacle d’ouverture de la Coupe d'Afrique des Nations, et en 1999 celle de l'ouverture du Festival panafricain du cinéma et de la télévision de Ouagadougou (FESPACO).

Depuis la création de sa compagnie Faso Danse en 2002, Serge Aimé travaille sur des thèmes complexes et tente de donner une véritable impulsion positive aux jeunes générations Son africanité est la source de son inspiration et avec son art, il veut créer une danse contemporaine puissante qui part du sentiment mais qui porte aussi réflexion et espoir. La puissance de son expressivité rend son travail universel et compréhensible sur tous les continents. Les pièces en date, produites sur différentes scènes européennes et africaines (festivals), en commençant par la plus récente sont Kirina (2018), Kalakuta Republik (2016), Nuit Blanche à Ouagadougou (2014), Fadjiri (2013), Khokuma 7° Sud (2011), Babemba (2008), Solitude d'un Homme Intègre (2007), A Benguer (2006), Minimini (2002).

Cliquez ci-dessous pour l'interview complet de Serge Aimé Coulibaly sur son parcours et son engagement politique lors de la 100ème représentation de sa pièce Kalakuta Republik, au Barbican Center, à Londres.

Serge Aimé Coulibaly s'entretient avec notre médiatrice culturelle Caro Sika lors de son passage à Londres.

Serge Aimé Coulibaly s'entretient avec notre médiatrice culturelle Caro Sika lors de son passage à Londres.

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Awilo Longomba, un artiste qui fédère

30 Avril 2021 , Rédigé par www.afrocultureblog.com Publié dans #awilo longomba, #artiste, #musique, #afroculture, #2021, #patrimoine culturel, #FR, #rdc

Photo Source: Web

Photo Source: Web

Awilo Longomba est un artiste chanteur et musicien congolais. Il est célèbre autant sur le continent que dans la diaspora et il se produit fréquemment sur la scène internationale. Depuis plus de deux décennies, Awilo Longomba est dans le top 3 des musiciens de la RDC et son style musical a transcendé le soukous, incorporant également l'afro pop et l'afro beat. Sa polyvalence musicale entraîne de nombreux featuring et collaborations avec d'autre artistes africains tels la diva nigériane Yemi Alade avec "Rihanna", « Zoungou remix » avec le guinéen Bebeto, "Enemy Solo" avec les P-Square.
Né le 6 mai 1962 en République démocratique du Congo, il héritera du talent musical de son père, le chanteur Vicky Longomba du Tout Puissant OK Jazz. Avant de commencer une carrière solo, Awilo sera batteur, notamment du groupe Viva La Musica et Loketo entre 1980 et 1994. En 1995, il abandonne la batterie pour le chant, et enregistre Moto Pamba, son premier disque sous son nom. Avec son deuxième album Coupé Bibamba en 1998, sa notoriété s'étend d'Afrique en Europe en passant par l'Amérique. Coupé Bibamba en featuring avec la chanteuse de Kassav Jocelyne Béroard, l'animateur Tutu Kaludji et Alain Mpéla de Wenge BCBG, deviendra son album phare et connaitra un énorme succès, suivi de Kafou Kafou en 2000 — qui gagne un prix au Kora Awards en 2001 (le 3ème en date ayant déjà reçu des awards en 1996 et 1997 pour ses albums précédents). En 2003, il sort Mondongo et en 2008 l'album Super Man, qui reçoit le Best Soukous Entertainer Award en 2009.
En 2016, après un long séjour dans son Kinshasa natal, Awilo sort « Kolo kwanga » où il célèbre la chikwange (manioc), un met congolais apprécié de tous. Dans le clip de cette chanson, il se fait entourer de plusieurs chroniqueurs musicaux de Kinshasa et du célèbre comédien kinois Fiston Saï Saï. 
Awilo Longomba est parmi les rares musiciens congolais à se produire chaque fois en Afrique Occidentale dans des pays comme le Nigeria, le Burkina Faso, le Cap-Vert et autres. C'est un artiste qui fédère et qui attire tout type de public.
Voir ci-dessous Awilo Longomba lors de ses retrouvailles avec la directrice artistique Chantal Loial au Richmix, à Londres.
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Princess Ademiluyi Ronke, the founder of Africa Fashion Week

28 Avril 2021 , Rédigé par www.afrocultureblog.com Publié dans #2021, #fashion, #afroculture, #blacklegacy, #ENG, #princessronke, #nigeria, #uk

Photo Credit: Allure Vanguard

Photo Credit: Allure Vanguard

Princess Ademiluyi Ronke is the great grand-daughter of the late Ooni Ajagun Ademiluyi, the King of the Ife Kingdom, now located in Osun State, Nigeria. She is the owner and founder of the award-winning fashion platform, Africa Fashion Week London and Nigeria. To date, the Fashion Week has gained global recognition and showcased over 1000 African and African inspired designers.

 Princess Ademiluyi Ronke was born in England and is a Law Graduate from Thames Valley University in London. In 2011, she founded Africa Fashion Week London in order to promote African Fashion globally. This year marks 10 years of her showcasing African fashion designers in London. Her Africa Fashion Week London platform is the longest running festival in the UK and Europe that supports and promotes emerging African designers. Under her supervision, organizations like the KwaZulu Natal Fashion Council, The Nigerian Export Promotion Council, The Seychelles Creative Enterprise and The Trade & Investment South Africa have all used the AFWL platform to showcase creative talents from their various countries to the world.

In 2015, she launched Africa Fashion Week Nigeria to provide an African platform to emerging African designers on the continent and give them the opportunity to showcase their collections in Europe, through Africa Fashion Week London.

In 2016 she was made the global and cultural ambassador of the Legacy of the Iconic Queen Moremi. The late ‘Moremi Ajasoro’ is an historical figure of extraordinary dimensions in Ife, who saved her people and heritage from extinction.

Princess Ademiluyi Ronke uses the Queen Moremi Initiative to promote female leadership, mentorship and entrepreneurship programs for young women. She also campaigns against trafficking of young women in Nigeria.

We've had the opportunity to attend Africa Fashion Week London on two occasions. Click on the video below to watch our first experience of Africa Fashion Week London. A real feast for the senses!

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Legendary Soul Singer Omar

21 Avril 2021 , Rédigé par www.afrocultureblog.com Publié dans #music, #artist, #omar, #2021, #afroculture, #carosika, #interview, #blacklegacy, #ENG, #uk

Photo Source: Web

Photo Source: Web

Omar Christopher Lye-Fook, known professionally as Omar, is an internationally acclaimed and exceptional soul singer, songwriter and musician, who has been praised by the likes of  Maxwell, Erykah Badu and Stevie Wonder. Stevie Wonder actually wrote him a song which they recorded together as a duet 15 years later.

Omar was born on 14th October 1968 in London. His father, Byron Lye-Fook was a studio musician and drummer who worked with reggae legends Bob Marley and Horace Andy, as well as the Rolling Stones. At age five, Omar was already learning how to play the drums. During his school years, he completed formal training in piano, trumpet/coronet, and other percussion instruments. He also spent two years at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester, and the Guildhall School of Music in London. Recording for his father's Kongo label, Omar debuted in 1985 with the single "Mr. Postman" at age 16. He shot to fame in 1991 with his single "There’s Nothing Like This". It reached number 14 in the UK Singles Chart.

In the 1990s, He recorded the albums There's Nothig Like This, Music, For Pleasure and This is Not a Love Song in and towards the end of that decade moved on to major-label RCA. When he parted ways with the label, Omar constructed his own studio and established the record label Blunt Music. He released Sing (If you want it) in 2006. Omar received the Best Neo-soul Act and Outstanding Achievement Awards at the Urban Music Awards, which acknowledges urban music artists around the globe. He was also appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire in 2012. The next year, he released The Man and in 2017 Love In Beats on the Freestyle label, which took three years to make with the collaboration of his baby brother, known professionaly as Scratch Professor (aka Roland). Roland is a Grammy Winning producer, remixer and DJ.

Omar's voice is extra soulful and distinctive although he hated the sound of his voice when he first started performing. He is now described by some as the father of British Neo soul. However, Omar knows no musical boundaries.His influences are wide and varied, including ragga, hip-hop, funk, jazz-pop, rock, and Latin/Caribbean music. 

More recently, before the pandemic, Omar was awarded the Music Honour at the Black Magic Awards 2019 at the Criterion Theatre in the heart of London.

Watch his interview and his word of advice for upcoming artists.

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Michel Pinheiro, de Cotonou à Cuba

18 Avril 2021 , Rédigé par www.afrocultureblog.com Publié dans #artiste, #musique, #2021, #carosika, #michelpinheiro, #africansalsaorchestra, #afroculture, #focusafrica, #patrimoine culturel, #FR, #benin

Photo Credit: Web

Photo Credit: Web

Michel Pinheiro, né Cosme Michel Odjougbele Pinheiro, est un compositeur, arrangeur et musicien de salsa d'origine béninoise. Né le 25 septembre à Pobè, dans le Sud du Bénin, Il fait ses débuts au sein d'une chorale de jeunes de sa paroisse et s'initie à la guitare à l'âge de 17 ans.

C’est au prestigieux lycée Behanzin de Porto Novo que sa carrière prend un tournant décisif quand il a l’opportunité de se rendre en Côte d’Ivoire, la plaque tournante de la musique en Afrique de l’Ouest. Il y rencontre le doyen Mamadou Doumbia auprès duquel il perfectionnera son apprentissage et s'initiera au trombone, qui deviendra plus tard son instrument de prédilection.

Sa collaboration avec Mamadou Doumbia porte ses fruits. Michel Pineihro accompagnera quelques années plus tard de grandes stars ivoiriennes comme Nayanka Bell ou Gadji Celi. En 1996, son chemin croise, cette fois-ci, celui d’un jeune reggaeman : Tiken Jah Fakoly. Michel Pinheiro lui suggère alors d’introduire des cuivres dans ses compositions. Une proposition qu’accepte Tiken Jah Fakoly. Michel Pinheiro devient donc le chef d’orchestre des « Djelys », le groupe qui l'accompagnera lors de ses tournées jusqu'en 2012.

Mais le tromboniste est avant tout un salsero. Faire de la salsa équivaut pour lui à se rapproprier une musique née sur le continent, dont la rythmique est inspirée des rythmes vaudou du Bénin.

Le premier album solo de Michel Pinheiro sort en 1999 et s'intitule Espoir. Suivront Agoh (2006), Bénin (2009), ainsi qu'un album hommage à son père spirituel Mamadou Doumbia en 2010.

En 2014, il monte le groupe African Salsa Orchestra avec lequel il continue à se produire sur des scènes internationales. Ils produiront ensemble un album du même nom. Michel Pineihro fait revivre au Bénin et sur le continent la musique de sa jeunesse et de ses aieux.

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The EP "A Guy Like Me" by Tanzanian artist Tofa Jaxx

9 Avril 2021 , Rédigé par www.afrocultureblog.com Publié dans #music, #tofajaxx, #artist, #2021, #afroculture, #ENG, #tanzania

NEW ALBUM RELEASE The EP "A Guy Like Me" by Tanzanian artist Tofa Jaxx

NEW ALBUM RELEASE The EP "A Guy Like Me" by Tanzanian artist Tofa Jaxx

"A Guy Like Me" brings together Tofa Jaxx's first songs, which he wrote between 2016 and 2017. It was the time when he decided to completely dedicate his life to music. In the four songs, Tofa experiments with his extraordinary smokey voice and combines it with a sense of Neo soul harmonies and emotional soul-vocals. The lyrics of the songs are all about a young man from Tanzania, who is burning to set off to new shores.

2021 is going to be an interesting year for the young songwriter. Over the last month, he has been working tirelessly on new music.
UMENIKAA was just released a couple of weeks ago. More songs are already lined up and he is working on his first international album which is planned to come out later this year.
With his music, Tofa Jaxx is daring a different path from the Tanzanian norm, away from Bongo Flava and other mainstream sounds.

Here is one of our favorite EP track just released : I WANT YOU

You want so support African artists and African music, check out #soulidarity.

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