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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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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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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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Beverley Knight - Powerful and Beautiful

20 Mars 2021 , Rédigé par www.afrocultureblog.com Publié dans #afroculture, #beverleyknight, #awards, #music, #artist, #interview, #carosika, #blacklegacy, #ENG, #uk

 In this edition of 'Black Legacy', we will be presenting the charming and powerful singer, Beverley Knight.

In this edition of 'Black Legacy', we will be presenting the charming and powerful singer, Beverley Knight.

Beverley Knight is an English recording artist and musical theatre actress who released her first album The B-Funk in 1995. Heavily influenced by American soul music icons such as Sam Cooke and Aretha Franklin, Beverley Knight has released eight studio albums. Widely labelled as one of Britain's greatest soul singers, she is best known for her hit singles "Greatest Day", "Get Up", "Shoulda Woulda Coulda" and "Come as You Are".

After more than a decade in the music industry, she was appointed a MBE in 2006 in recognition of her contribution to British music. In September 2005, Knight was made an honorary Doctor of Music by the University of Wolverhampton. After receiving a host of awards, including three MOBO Awards Beverley Knight was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004 at the Urban Music Award in London. Beverley Knight supported Prince during his residency at the O2 Arena and also performed at the concert after parties. As a result of this, she was flown to perform at his Oscars party in front of A-list stars and received a standing ovation from stars such as Quincy Jones.

In 2019, Knight celebrated 25 years in music with the release of the live album BK25.

Click on the video below to see Beverley Knight's interview by our cultural mediator Caro Sika at the Black Magic Awards Ceremony in London at the Criterion Theatre, as she received her Music Honour.

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FLAVIA COELHO DNA TOUR

18 Février 2020 , Rédigé par www.afrocultureblog.com Publié dans #music, #artist, #afroculture, #2020, #flaviacoelho, #ENG, #brazil

DNA Tour : JAZZ CAFE / LONDON Feb 20

WHO'S FLAVIA COELHO ?

Coelho has an effortless, relaxed style that almost disguises her skill at easing between the slinky melodies and bursts of rapid-fire hip-hop – The Guardian

Flavia has traveled all over the world. From the morros of Rio de Janeiro to the paved streets of Paris. The nomad is at home where she feels welcomed, and her music is made of this alchemy. It is immaterial, a cosmic vibration that moves in the air: from hot flashes of heat to icy breezes, it resonates at all latitudes. Flavia knows that too. Her singing has rang from raids to bus shelters, from café-concerts to the world's biggest festivals.

 

FLAVIA COELHO DNA TOUR
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NEW ALBUM RELEASE NEMO BY KADIALY KOUYATE

12 Février 2020 , Rédigé par www.afrocultureblog.com Publié dans #music, #artist, #ujamaa, #afroculture, #2020, #kora, #ENG, #kadialykouyate, #senegal

NEW ALBUM RELEASE NEMO BY KADIALY KOUYATE

ALBUM RELEASE 17th April 2020

The name of the new album of Kadialy Kouyate "NEMO" means blessings. It's message is that it is the human values that bring prosperity to any country or place.

"This album is a combination of songs that define, in my opinion, the blessings︎ and sustenance back home" says Kadialy Kouyate.

Kadialy Kouyate is a musician, a singer songwriter inspired by the West African Griot repertoire. Born into the great line of Kouyate Griot in Southern Senegal, Kadialy︎’s mesmerising Kora playing and singing style have been appreciated in many prestigious venues as both a soloist and in different ensembles.

Jim Palmer is an English songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist based in Buckinghamshire UK.

Credit: all songs written & performed by Kadialy Kouyate and produced by Jim Palmer

For more info please visit the website or email your   enquiries to kouyatekadialy@yahoo.fr

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Kalakuta Republik: A place where freedom lives on !!

1 Juin 2019 , Rédigé par www.afrocultureblog.com Publié dans #carosika, #art, #artist, #ujamaa, #afroculture, #2019, #kalakutarepublik, #ENG, #burkinafaso, #uk

Part 1 "Without a story, we would go mad"

Part 1 "Without a story, we would go mad"

Provoking and non-conformist, Serge Aimé Coulibaly is transporting us in a world  where Fela Kuti, the revolutionary icon that inspired the piece Kalakuta Republik, is displayed in 3D through his musical greatness, his murky and superstitious genius, his enduring creativity pushing off boundaries and his unwavering defiance. Kalakuta Republik offers no escape to facing the crude realities of revolutionary acts : the sublime and the chaos.

Part 1 Without a story we would go mad"  peaks away from codes, from what is predictable into continuous individual movements that take us into a disjointed trance. The dancers are dressed in black and white as if presenting a manichaean view and isolated experience of the world. Yet Serge Coulibaly through his appearances on stage becomes a conductor who connects with the dancers.

Part 2 "You always need a poet"

Part 2 "You always need a poet"

In Part 2 « You always need a poet », we are firstly confronted with moral decadence and the absurd. Sexual depravity, drugs, madness punctuate the sounds of jazz-infused Afrobeat. One dancer is hurt, heavyloaded while  others are intoxicated, used, hurt, abused.  The colours remind us of Fela Kuti’s Shrine which was both a temple and a night club. Yet, the poignant and enduring message of hope and political resistance clearly resonates throughout the piece.

The dancers keep on marching, clenched-fists in the air. And the fight goes on !!!

Kalakuta Republik will show one more night at the Barbican on 1st June and at the Edinburgh International Festival from 8th to 11th August 2019. See links below to book your tickets now.

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SHOOOOO – Latest release of KWAMZ & FLAVA

14 Mars 2019 , Rédigé par www.afrocultureblog.com Publié dans #music, #artist, #ujamaa, #afroculture, #2019, #ENG, #ghana

SHOOOOO – Latest release of KWAMZ & FLAVA

SHOOOOO – Latest release of KWAMZ & FLAVA

After their electrifying performance on China's first afrobeat stage at the ISY music festival and their viral performance at Fuse ODG's T.I.N.A Festival in Ghana, Kwamz and Flava bring you their first project of 2019!! 

This latest release has been very much anticipated! With the pre released teaser clearly not enough for the Afrobeat lovers, the song comes at no dissapointment as a Kwamz production! The build up from the moment you press play til the beat drops leaves you unable to control the urge to do the Zanku or Shaku on the beat!!

With upcoming performances in Europe, USA and Canada, 2019 is looking very interesting for Kwamz & Flava
.

SHOOOOO – Latest release of KWAMZ & FLAVA

SHOOOOO – Latest release of KWAMZ & FLAVA

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Legendary singers from Aswad and Steel Pulse join forces !!

13 Mars 2019 , Rédigé par Caro Sika Publié dans #music, #carosika, #artist, #ujamaa, #afroculture, #2019, #aswad, #steelpulse, #ENG

Singers from Aswad and Steel Pulse, namely Brinsley Forde and David Hinds, join forces on the first single of the upcoming Brinsley Forde album "The Tuff Gong Sessions".

The song takes us back to the experience of enslaved deported Africans and their search for identity. The generation that has been told the story and experienced the aftermath of the transatlantic tragedy seems to echo back to this young generation what took place centuries ago!!

Yet the story is still being told and so relevant - we are looking at a grey bearded rastafari man painting sea waves with people voyaging through in the presence of a child who could be his grandson!! And today Black Africans are still dying at sea every day and slavery is still happening as we speak - the alienation from their continent is still real - the children of Africa are still searching for a better tomorrow!!

Executive Producer: Ras Denco. Produced by Ras Denco and Marc Baronner. Mixed by Marc Baronner @ Bass Galore Productions (Leiden, NL).  Recorded @ Tuff Gong (Kingston, JM) and Mixing Lab (Kingston, JM), Brinsley Forde Studio (Tenerife, ESP), Coyote's Hideout (Belgrade, RS). Engineer @ Tuff Gong: Roland Mc Dermot. Video by Romain 'Sherkhan' Chiffre.

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Que Vola? Cuban-French Jazz band debut album out soon!

17 Janvier 2019 , Rédigé par www.afrocultureblog.com Publié dans #music, #artist, #afroculture, #2019, #quevola, #ENG, #cuba

Que Vola

Que Vola

Signed to No Format (home to Oumou Sangaré, Mélissa Laveaux) and supported at 6Music by Gilles Peterson, Que Vola? formed when French jazz trombonist Fidel Fourneyron followed his namesake to Havana to immerse himself in the percussive music of Afro-Cuban cults. The experience sparked him to reimagine the existing music, with a French brass section reinterpreting vocal leads, alongside Cuban percussionists.

This new Afrobeat-influenced track, 'Nganga', is informed by the customs of the Palo religion, taking its name from the cauldron where a dead priest's spirit is believed to remain.  

Listen to track below

UK live debut at Hackney EartH on April 10

Speaking about the track, Fidel says; "I added a bass line to the Palo rhythm. I wanted to be respectful of the choral voice that would usually respond to the soloist, but here it's my trombone that takes the lead vocal, and the rest of the horn section responds, before being answered by the tenor sax."

Que Vola? - that name comes from the Cuban slang for 'What's Up?' - will make their UK live debut at Hackney EartH on April 10 at a show alongside Oumou Sangaré to celebrate No Format's 15th birthday.

Click below for more info to book your ticket now!

Calle Luz - Que Vola

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