Legendary Soul Singer Omar
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.
The EP "A Guy Like Me" by Tanzanian artist Tofa Jaxx
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.
Beverley Knight - Powerful and Beautiful
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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The Turkana people are found in the Northern part of Kenya. Turkana tribe is part of the Nilotic tribes and constitutes the second largest pastoralist community after the Maasai
Like the Maasai, the Turkana have maintained a traditional lifestyle.
The community is clustered in over 20 clans. The two dominant are the Ngirisai referring to the Leopard and Ngimor referring to the Stones. In this system, successive generation of males alternate between being part of the Ngirisai or the Ngimor groups.
Wives of the Ngimor put on a Black wedding ring around their neck whilst the wives from the Ngirisai clan put on a silver ring around their neck. It is the official symbol of marriage. A middle finger ring is also worn. Women automatically belong to the age set of their fathers until they marry and then take their husbands grouping. The quantity of the Jewellery around a woman’s neck determine her social status.
The turkana males do not practise male circumcision.
A Turkana boy looks after young goats. At the age of 11, he starts looking after mature goats and as he grows, he is entrusted with cows, camels and sheep. Between 16 to 20 years old, he is allowed to attend the night dance with his friends and look out for a suitable girl to start a family.
The woman remains the pillar in Turkana family. She’s responsible for building the house, tendering to the animals and provide food for her husband.
The bride price is very high in Turkana society. When a man is ready to marry, his parents visit the bride’s parents with gifts such as sheep, sugar and tobacco. Once the marriage is consented, the number of animals to be brought is agreed upon. Bride price could amount from 10 to 30 cows if the man is wealthy. Goats could amount up to 100 heads or more. A bull is later slaughtered to seal the marriage.
Polygamy is acceptable in Turkana culture and a man can marry as many wives as long as he can afford to pay the bride’s price and sustain them. The more the livestock, the more cumbersome it is for one wife to tend them so the husband has to look for another or other wives to delegate duties. The first wife is consulted and has to approve.
The youngest wife will be looked after by the husband’s eldest son. She cannot leave the homestead because she may be exploited for her wealth. It is the duty of the eldest wife to instruct her firstborn son to marry the younges wife.
Divorce doesn’t exist in Turkana’s vocabulary as it is considered a curse. It is forbidden because no family will trust a divorcee with their daughter. Divorce is only allowed if the woman is proved to be adulterous or has bad manners that dispute the norms of the community.
Men flirting with other men’s wives will also suffer the full wrath of the Council of Elders. For instance, his animals can be confiscated or he can be fined by the Council of Elders. A bull will be slaughtered as a cleansing ritual. One may be asked to repay the dowry price.
Once a married woman becomes a widow, she shaves her hair and removes all of her jewellery. This signifies that she burries her husband’s tradition to be allowed to remarry.
Source : KTN News Kenya
3MA :: Ballaké Sissoko, Driss El Maloumi, Rajery “Anarouz” (Hope)
3MA is the meeting of three string-instrument virtuosi, emblematic of their countries in Africa, but also of generous artists who share a musical passion, a reciprocal dialogue and a beautiful friendship.
In 2006 when the Malian kora magician Ballaké Sissoko, the Moroccan maestro of the oud Driss El Maloumi and the Malagasy prince of valiha Rajery met, they could have stopped like so many others after a bunch of concerts and one final recording. But the miraculous tremor that rose from their instruments when they began playing together still resonates today. Driven by the pleasure of an exceptional musical relationship but also a human one, they have met regularly since, and always joyfully, their reunions always enriching their solo careers.
Centuries of musical tradition run through Ballaké Sissoko’s fingers. In his griot family, tricks and secrets for playing the kora have been inherited over generations. At first, Ballaké learned to play the instrument in secret, as his father did not want him to become a musician, but later he was able to study openly with traditional griots. In 1997, together with his cousin Toumani Diabaté, he recorded New Ancient Strings, which refers to the very first kora instrumental album, Ancient Strings that their fathers had recorded 30 years before. As a member of the Instrumental Ensemble of Mali, Ballaké started playing all over Africa, then in Europe. He later formed his own troupe in France before gradually gaining international recognition. His limitless creativity has led him to fruitful collaborations with the Italian pianist Ludovico Einaudi, the Iranian-born percussionist Keyvan Chemirani and the Cretan lyra player Ross Daly. Of all his experiments, one of the most fertile has been his collaboration with the cellist Vincent Segal, which has achieved great recognition and introduced the kora to a new audience. In 2015, Ballaké Sissoko took part in the soundtrack of the César award-winning movie Timbuktu from director Abderrahmane Sissako.
The Moroccan musician of Berber origin, Driss El Maloumi, received a Western and Arabic classical music education. Thanks to his broad cultural background, his boundless mastery and vast curiosity, he was able to collaborate with various artists as diverse as jazz trumpet player Paolo Fresu and Indian slide guitarist Debashish Battacharya. For the past 20 years, he has been one of the pillars of the Hespèrion XXI ensemble of the renowned viola da gamba player, Jordi Savall, who since 2014 has also incorporated 3MA in two of his creations. Whilst being director of the Agadir Conservatory of Music, Driss El Maloumi also pursues a successful solo career.
In 2017 Malagasy valiha player, Rajery, counts 37 years of playing valiha, 35 years of live performance and a 25 year-long international career. A path that did not began without difficulties. Facing amputation of his right hand as a young child, Rajery overcame his disability, achieved instrumental fluency, then virtuosity, with his tubular harp. The RFI's World Music Award in 2002 settled his status of leading artist. His European tours are frequent while his home activities remain full and committed. Rajery founded a musical festival in Madagascar and gets involved in education, musicotherapy and reforestation.
Since their debut record in 2008, the 3MA musicians have been through many individual experiences broadening their knowledge. They meet regularly to give 3MA concerts throughout the world and over the years, new ideas have sprung up, and then have been refined, giving birth to new compositions or reworking existing ideas. A decade after the beginning of their adventure, it was time to take stock and get back into the recording studio. This new album bears witness to their wonderful connection and mature experience. Percussionist Khalid Kouhen joins in on two tracks to add delicate pulses with his Pakistani percussions and Indian tablas and on two other tracks we can even hear Rajery, Driss and Ballaké singing. But for the rest of the record, the string instruments reign and weave their magic alone. Each piece is the result of a unique chemistry in which individual parts are hard to define. The sounds of kora, oud and valiha do not try to stand out over each other, but instead develop a common language.
While we never lose sight of the rich traditions which Ballaké Sissoko, Driss El Maloumi and Rajery embody, we hear above all a shared message from 3MA, a message that rallies against the violence of our world, with their soft and invigorating harmonies, vital energy and universal poetry.
Management & Booking : Corinne Serres 01 40 10 25 55 firstname.lastname@example.org
FLAVIA COELHO DNA TOUR
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 - Billy Django (Official Video)
Taken from her album "DNA", order now : https://FlaviaCoelho.lnk.to/AlbumDNAID 🎬 - Video credits Choreography : Fabio Aragão Choreography assistant : Mélodie...
Welcome to Flavia Coelho's official website.
"I've never felt better in my life," she says with her irresistible smile. Flavia Coelho is living her best days, both personal and artistic. This is reflected in her fourth album, DNA. A title as ...
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 email@example.com
26 year old Tene Edwards monetised her passion of writing on Instagram
For 26-Year-Old Tene Edwards, it all started on Instagram. “I was broken, my heart was aching, and I completely lost myself. I always used to be the girl who smiled regardless of what was happening in my life but after that heartbreak, I just didn’t know how to smile anymore. I remember when I was on my way home from seeing the guy who was really hurting me and my face must have looked so distressed because a stranger said to me “smile. You are beautiful you know. You should smile.” I think this played on my mind during my train journey home and I knew from that moment that I needed to find a way to pick myself up and I can’t remember how long after, but sometime after I began to journal and I found healing in my writing as I faced my emotions.
Tene then decided to share her words with the world and created an account on Instagram called quotepotion which helped her discover that there were many other people experiencing the same emotions as she was. “I built my organic following online using my phone by engaging with people who followed and commented on the inspirational posts of accounts that had larger audiences than mine, this drew them to checking out my page and some following. I did this for hours on end to begin with and found that people were really able to resonate with my words. I then started to search via hashtags that were relevant to my writings and engaged with people there. I also asked the larger accounts to repost my words, some did this for free while other accounts charged”.
“I self-published Walk With Wings to begin with as I wanted to give my readers something that they could hold and make their own. I also saw this as an opportunity to monetise my passion of writing and was very keen to do this after reading a ton of self-help books that consistently screamed “do what you love, and you will never work a day in your life”. I wrote the content out on Word and searched for an illustrator, editor and book designer to help me with the layout of the inside of the book on the copyright pages of other books that I liked. I then uploaded the documents onto CreateSpace (now KDP).
Tene contacted The Good Quote to ask if they could share some of her words on their account and before you know it, she was having a meeting with them in Joe & The Juice about Walk With Wings and the rest is history. Walk With Wings has reached the hands of thousands and thousands of people worldwide and Tene’s words have been shared by household names and celebrities including, Kandi Burruss, Wesley Snipes, Dascha Polanco and Khloe Kardashian.
“Social media is a powerful place; I practically built my brand on there. Anybody can. I think a lot of people are underutilising it, including myself to be honest when we should really be making the most out of it, being a free platform to advertise. I don’t think advertising can get an easier and cheaper than this.”
Continue reading for Tene's 4 steps to get you started on Social Media.
Here are her 4 steps to get you started on social media AND share your craft
Step 1: Create an account on Instagram
Step 2: Write a bio (be clear, concise and descriptive)
- What is the purpose of your account? Where can your audience contact you? Include a call to action. Why should they click on your link?
Step 3: Build your audience and direct people to your work
- Research the Hashtags relevant to your brand and engage with the accounts that are using the hashtag through liking their posts and commenting your thought on them. For example some of the hashtags I use to find people to engage with are #knowyourworth #thegoodquote #selflove you can even search competitors hashtags
- Research accounts that have bigger followings than you who repost other people's posts that are similar to yours and align with your brand. Reach out and ask them to repost your posts.
Step 4: Engage with your audience through polls and questions to find out what type of content they enjoy seeing and post more of it.
If you would like to know more and see Tene in person, you can meet her at the event below.
You can also connect with Tene Edwards via Instagram and follow her @teneedwards
Eventbrite - Intuitively Improvised presents Vision Board & Vegan Lunch - Saturday, 22 February 2020 at SpaceAT61, London, England. Find event and ticket information.
African Citizenship for African Americans and a place to call home!
We Cannot Call Anywhere Our Home
We cannot call anywhere our home!!
Here is the plea of so many African Americans, who proudly consider Africa to be the land of their ancestry and ancestors.
As I was checking out the bold launch of The State of the Diaspora last week in Paris, which pegged itself to the official entity that is the 6th region of the African Union, I met two beautiful African American sisters who have repatriated to Ghana and encourage others to do so.
The 6th region has an important role in their view, as it is meant to be the official entity representing all the Historic Unique African Diasporas as a result of the Transatlantic Slave Trade such as Black people of African Descent in South America, North America and the Caribbean… which account for 170 million people according to the African Union (AU). These groups, despite their African descent are not granted African Citizenships, even though a proportion of them would happily repatriate to Africa should they have the opportunity and legal right to do so. Hence, the importance for these unique groups to be constituted into a State attached to the African Union to be accounted for and eventually granted citizenships. Whilst the 6th region has full legitimacy, the auto-proclaimed creation of a State of the Diaspora is regrettable in my view.
I believe that the alleged Prime Minister would have gained much more credibility as a Head of Project aiming to constitute a State represented by a Government democratically elected. Additionally, it must be said that this project of a State has only received the backing of 3 countries, so far, that are part of the African Union. It would need far more than a 5th of African States supporting the initiative to have a legitimate existence.
As a result, this meeting was vehemently boycotted by a number of Pan African groups. I do understand their stance although I deeply dislike the manner in which some of these groups came to the press conference to publicly humiliate those involved not considering that the Caribbean and South American dignitaries who were present had a different status. There are ways of expressing disagreement, even to condemn actions but, disrespecting flesh and blood will never take us very far as a people. In my view, it simply demonstrates very little respect for oneself and others.
Coming back to my two precious sistahs, both retirees in their seventies; they had flown over from Ghana, connected flights at Addis Ababa to arrive in Paris to see what they could learn from their brothers and sisters in Europe. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be so and after hate speeches broke out at the press conference, one of our precious Mamas fell ill and was urgently taken to hospital in an ambulance due to high blood pressure. I am so grateful that both my friend Mohamadou and myself were there at the time it happened and were able to support as it was out of the question that they should be left on their own, knowing that they couldn’t speak French.
As for me, the value of attending this event was meeting with them and what I found out about their plea.
Auntie Earna is a beautiful sistah from Detroit who repatriated to Ghana when she retired from her teaching job. Auntie Earna’s first encounter with the continent of her ancestors was at 8 years old when she met a first African national. At 11 years old, she was given her first National Geographic magazine by her dad which had he found on a bus. She read all about different places in Africa and knew then that’s where she wanted to go. Her dad admonished her to have a good education as this would be her passport to go anywhere in the world. When she was 15, a secondary school teacher introduced her class to African History in which they were taught about the different African countries and their capitals. As a young adult, Earna started to meet a variety of African Nationals such as Ethiopians, Ghanaian and more and she started working 2 to 3 jobs so one day she could go to Africa. This she eventually did, going back and forth to 18 African countries taking students and teachers with her. Then in June 2000 after a key encounter, she bought a piece of land in Ghana, built her house in 2002 and retired there from teaching. However, it took almost 15 years for her to be granted citizenship. Auntie Earna would say “So many of us are interested in going back. Quite a few of us ended up going to Ghana”. However, once they arrive in Ghana, many African Americans who currently amount to 7,000 people in Ghana alone, pensioners contributing to a minimum of 63 million dollars a year, often have a tourist visa and become illegal once the tourist visa has run out, as there is no swift procedure to recognise this Historical Unique diaspora as lawful Africans.
Mama Imakhus Okofu also known as “One Africa” decided to repatriate to Ghana in 1989 with her husband. They own a health resort which serves as a retreat. Mama Imakhus believes that the mission given to her by the ancestors is “to help as many people as possible to escape from the US.”
To her, The United States remains a land of exploitation of the Black race, the only place in the world where Black citizens are an amendment to the constitution (3/5th of a man), who have eventually been bonified as full humans and granted citizenships. Up to today, she will explain that the Voters Rights Bill still determines every 25 years if Black people can continue voting. Black people, who are undeniably, the builders of America, the farming land, are the only ethnic group this applies to.
However, for these Africans born in America who have been called “negros, coloured, black, Afro-American, African-American”, the reality is bleak when it comes to being recognised on the African continent. Many retirees arrive in Africa with the will and the desire to contribute to the development of the country only to be looked upon as outsiders.
As Ghana was publicly declaring “the year of return”, both Earna and Imakhus attended the Homecoming Summit only to realise that this call to the diaspora was for Ghanaians leaving abroad. Yet, they are hopeful that the message is more than a touristic plot and this year, 250 African Americans who have lived in the country for over 25 years have applied for citizenship and are awaiting a conclusive outcome.
One Africa has also championed a petition in Ghana, click below for more information on the work of these two beautiful sistahs and mamas, as well as for more info on the 6th region of the AU.
0 have signed. Let's get to 1,000! PETITION TO AMEND THE NAMES OF THE CAPE COAST AND ELMINA CASTLES *Note* Petition written and initiated by Seestah IMAHKÜS Njinga Okofu Ababio, CEO One Africa** The
Thank you for considering One Africa Health Resort as the place for your accommodations during your visit to Ghana. At One Africa Health Resort, we provide the very best in health and wellness ...
Acting Head of Division: Ms. Eiman Kheir The Diaspora Division is under the Directorate office of the Department. It takes directives and instructions from the Directorate office. The African ...