Great news! We were delighted to hear from Kojo Anim today that Black Magic Awards will be back in June 2022 with a twist. This time around, they will be honoring both men and women on the same night. We will be keeping you posted on all updates as months go by but without further ado, if you haven't been to one of Black Magic Awards events before, find out more about the concept by clicking on the video link below.
Created in 2017 by Britain’s Got Talent comedian Kojo Anim and entrepreneur Annika Allen, the Black Magic Awards recognises the extraordinary accomplishments made by black men and women. The awards give a voice to the excellence black people share with the world across a variety of disciplines including music, entertainment, sports, business and much more. A selection of bold, brilliant talent who stand as vanguards in their chosen fields, are selected each year to be honoured. They have worked tirelessly, raising up themselves, but are often overlooked by mainstream media and award shows. That’s why the Black Magic Awards was created as a home to celebrate these phenomenal men and women and thank them for paving the way.
The evening centres around a prevailing sense of community, celebrating the winners’ successes and demonstrating how capable, strong, majestic and magnificent black people are. It is a night where we get to raise up those who have paved the way and provide a platform for them to speak their truth.
This fun, inspiring and unifying evening is one of very few events where generations of one family can attend and enjoy together. And it creates a space for young people to see that it is possible to strive for and attain success in a myriad of fields, inspires the next generation but also acts as a reminder that there is still a lot more that needs to be done.
The Black Magic Awards
Celebrates the accomplishments of men and women who represent inspirational and positive role models making a difference in the world and paving the way for black people to succeed in a variety of industries such as entertainment, the arts, sport, business, fashion and their local communities
Inspires the next generation of talent wanting to realise their dreams and ambitions
Empowers people to be fearless in how they are represented
Recognises that gender equality is worth fighting for and transcends stereotypes and challenges unconscious bias
Showcases the very best in black entertainment from music, comedy to dance and spoken word
Click on the link below to get involved and find out more about Black Magic Awards.
This month, London African Music Festival will stage two Live Events at the RichMix, London.
FRIDAY 17TH SEPTEMBER - 7.30PM
The High Life Orchestra, established by trombonist and vocalist Abdul Raheem, will be the first to perform for the Trombonist and singer Abdul Raheem is the man to breathe new life to Hi-Life music. His career has seen him playing and recording with host of West African legends like Ebo Taylor, Pat Thomas, Tony Allen, Orlando Julius, Osibisa and many more, as well as releasing great albums as a leader.
His 8-piece orchestra takes the magical sounds of hi-life and update it with modern grooves that drives you crazy with its infectious riffs and blazing horn lines. This is a re-birth of Hi-Life that continues to play important roles in shaping the future sounds of West Africa. Expect to hear classics from the hi-life’s incredible musical history.
Click on link below to buy your ticket.
SATURDAY 25TH SEPTEMBER - 7.30PM
The African Jazz Orchestra will be the second and final act performing at the Richmix and will bring its irresistible music driven by the basslines of Serge Ngando-Mpondo, who has an impressive CV, playing bass for Manu Dibango, Miriam Makeba, Touré Kunda, Papa Wemba, Busi Mhlongo, Cheik Lô. He features on Lion of Africa and also produced Coco Mbassi’s CDs “JÓA” and “SEPIA”
The orchestra is packed with brilliant soloists and has one aim which is to rekindle people’s love affair with African jazz. Their brilliant music takes the listeners to the roots of all black music where hi-life meets afrobeat and then meeting jazz along the way. Bassist and leader Serge Ngando-Mpondo has spent the last few years writing for this orchestra with the aim of creating spectacular live shows with some of the best African jazz soloists in contemporary music. Together they speak with one unique voice that creates music that has no boundaries.
Click on link below to buy your ticket.
You'd like to get a feel of London African Music Festival.
We had the pleasure of interviewing Biyi Adepegba back in 2018. Click below to watch the video and get a feel of the festival.
Click below for more info on Biyi Adepegba and Joyful Noise
Tiramagan Traoré was a general of the great Soundjata Keïta, founder of the Mandinka empire, also referred to as the Mali Empire at the end of the twelfth century through to the sixteenth century.
The story goes that Tiramagan Traoré went to the heights of Kabul (present-day Guinea-Bissau which was formerly a territory of Gambia) with his griot Djelimadou Woulen Diabate and two hunters. During this expedition, Tiramagan spotted a Jinn, in front of a cave, which is a spirit in a form of a woman, living in the mountains. When she saw the expedition, the Jinn became frightened and took refuge in the cave.
Back home, Tiramagan told Waligelenjan, a descendant of Kamisoko, about his adventure. All decided to leave the next morning with a fishing net in order to catch this famous Jinn. When they arrived on the scene, the spirit woman was sitting in front of the cave. Immediately, the hunters launched the net on her to capture her. She, once more, took refuge in the cave and came out with a Kora. Tiramagan married this very beautiful woman and gave the Kora to his griot since he was a nobleman and wasn't permitted to play it. Djelimadou Woulen then exclaimed: "Nobleman, that's an instrument of ours, which belongs to the Mandika people".
It is from this story that the Kora, a stringed instrument of twenty-two strings with crystal sounds, draws its feminine gender. The first person to play it was this griot. When he died, in his honour, a string was removed. Since this time, the Kora has twenty-one leather strings. From the time of the first griot Djélimadou Woulen Diabaté, the Kora has been transmitted from Father to Son and has known more than 70 generations of griots.
Here is below an interview that took place at the Jazz Cafe couple of years back with a griot from the Cissokho family "Diabel Cissokho" by Caro Sika. Enjoy :)
"Music is my first love, the first thing I actually fell in love with" - Mic Assassin.
Following a 6-month Caribbean holiday which turned into an 8-year hiatus from music, Mic Assassin returns once again with more hunger, focus, and renewed vision.
Musician, Entrepreneur, Director, and Lover of life are the words, which most astutely describe this street-savvy South Londoner. Being disheartened and disillusioned with the politics of the music industry, his time away from music was productively spent setting up entrepreneurial ventures including a visual production company ‘FWD360’ under which Mic directed & edited over 100 projects for global brands, charities, and many grassroots organisations and independent artists.
But what is a man to do when his childhood dream and passion for creating music just won’t go away?
“I thought about it all the time, envisioning myself performing to massive concert venues. I wrote down everything even the thoughts I'm scared to say out loud. I’d hum melodies into voice recorders then start piecing the tracks together. Inspiration can come at any time of the day, I just have to stop everything and be on it when it does”.
From the tender age of 9 rapping in school assemblies to a 16-year-old appearing in magazines like The Face and The Fader, to an 18-year-old setting up his own record label selling CD’s hand to hand, Mic knows the true meaning of dream chasing.
Inspired by the hustle and grind of US / UK Indie labels such as Roc-a-fella, No Limit, So Solid and 57th Dynasty, Mic and his team learned and perfected the art of hand to hand selling moving units of CDs around their Lewisham college campus and outside popular music venues.
In love with the art of freestyling and eruptive crowd energy, Mic entered many "open mic" and Mc Battle competitions winning many of them and eventually being crowned Jump Off’s 2005 UK Street Battle Champion. This journey of gladiatorial words took Mic around the UK and USA where he would cross paths in combat with the likes of Professor Green, Lowkey and Iron Solomon.
The buzz around Mic Assassin grew and lead on to great coverage with live performances and Interviews on Kiss 100 FM (Shortee Blitz & Big Ted), BBC Radio (Ace & Vis, Twin B, Ras Kwame) and Dan Greenpeace (Xfm / Capital radio). His witty off the head freestyles lead Mic to feature on MTV’s Barrio 19 and host a part-time Hip Hop show “Mic Check With Mic Assassin” on BBC’s Asian Network.
Returning back with renewed focus and love for music-making, combining the visual and business skills learned within the 8-year gap period he is funnelling this new artillery into his new music.
With a more mature sound and reflective disposition Mic is open to all possibilities that may come his way.
“The most important thing this time around is having fun, travelling, connecting with people and making the best music I can. I’m legacy-building right now, building a foundation that can outlive me. I have many creative visuals, films, business ideas it’s all one, it’s all me and they intertwine with each other, but music is my first love and I’ve missed it. I am a better person when I'm making music, I feel like me again”.
Click below to download and listen to the new single release:
The album "Mother Nature" is a love letter to Mother Earth and all the values that humanity holds dear: truth, trust, love, connection. 'If there's anything the pandemic has taught us, it's that we are all a part of the same ecosystem—this planet is all we have' says Angelique Kidjo.
The song 'Mother Nature' features artist Sting and many other artists guests joined Angelique Kidjo on the album such as: Yemi Alade, Burna Boy, Mr Eazi, Salif Keita, Shungudzo, Sampa The Great, GhettoBoy, EarthGang, ZEYNAB, Matthieu, Chedid, - M - Lionel Loueke, and many more!
IQAQA is the first single from Nomfusi’s forthcoming album which will be released later in August 2021. It is a song about a love relationship. The Xhosa idiom “Iqaqa aliziva kunuka” means “the skunk does not smell itself” which refers to the fact that people often are unable to recognize their own faults. The song highlights this in a playful way. IQAQA is driven by danceable Afro Pop sounds with a strong vocal performance, melodic guitar riffs and groovy drums. Nomfusi ́s songs are mostly inspired by stories from her life.
IQAQA was written during an European tour in the mountains of Austria, when she was going through an argument and conflict with her partner. Away from her relationship frustration, she created a fictional story line of a woman leaving her relationship because of a man being too much of “Iqaqa". Also Nomfusi loves using Xhosa clicks as much as possible in her writing as part of preserving the Xhosa language.
Together with the single release, here is the official music video for IQAQA, which was shot in Brixton, a historically rich district in the heart of Johannesburg and at the legendary Roving Bantu venue. A social media campaign is also launched with IQAQA dance challenges, as well as IQAQA merchandise range and radio promotion in South Africa and Germany. The song was recorded in Johannesburg within the album recording process.
Click below to save or buy IQAQA by Nomfusi.
LAKOU MIZIK AND JOSEPH RAY SHARE DEBUT SINGLE 'OGOU (PRAN KA MWEN)' FROM NEWLY ANNOUNCED JOINT ALBUM 'LEAVE THE BONES'
Iconic Haitian Band Lakou Mizik and electronic producer Joseph Ray share the debut single Ogou (Pran Ka Mwen) from their forthcoming project Leave The Bones. The track is available on all platforms via Anjunadeep now.
Lakou Mizik and Ray premiere the album's debut single, 'Ogou (Pran Ma Kwen)', giving a telling look at what's to come. Characterised by vibrant strings, traditional Haitian rhythms and a jubilant chorus, 'Ogou (Pran Ka Mwen)' is an impassioned plea to the Vodou spirit of Iron and War for protection from the brutality of life's daily battles - "Ogou, you brought me here, take care of me." Since its inception, Lakou Mizik has sought to re-define people's conceptions of Haiti through its music. The nine piece band, formed in 2010, is emblematic of the melting pot that is Haiti's musical culture. Lakou's figurehead, Sanba Zao, one of only ten original Sanba poets left, played a central role in Haiti's Rasin (roots) movement of the 1980s which sought to re-imagine traditional Haitian Vodou music through radical experimentation with modern instruments. This spirit of Haiti's rich musical history underpins Lakou Mizik today; a multi-generational genre-blending ensemble that plays traditional Haitian music with a punk energy and a deep sense of their heritage.
Leave the Bones paints a musical portrait, a fresh glimpse of an oft misrepresented country. Through Vodou chants, chest-pounding Rara dance tunes and contemporary protest songs, the record conveys the listener to Haiti's spiritual heart, a place that remains a compelling mystery for foreigners and a source of pride for every Haitian. Few albums manage to evoke a time and place with such startling effect as the unlikely collaboration Leave the Bones (out August 6th), between the multi-generational Haitian band Lakou Mizik, and Grammy-winning electronic music artist Joseph Ray. Leave the Bones is a record that sounds like it could come from nowhere else, and while its rhythms undoubtedly possess a universal danceability, their meaning and depth are also unique to Haiti.
The new sounds from Zanzibar are as fresh as they could be, be it the sparkling Qanun, the vibrant violin or the powerful and bright voice of Siti Amina, let yourself be taken away into a journey to the magical Island!
Siti & The Band are releasing their new single and music video for the romantic love song “Subira” on the 28th of May 2021. ”Subira” is the first single from their forthcoming second studio album.
Zanzibar’s music history has been determined by female voices –from Siti Binti Saad to Bi Kidude, they have always been a trajectory for female emancipation and empowerment over the past decades.
Translating the traditional music into the modern times, Siti & The Band beautifully crafts the sounds of the new generation. In “Subira” it molds into unique afro-arab grooves, led by powerful vocals, the sparkling sounds of the Qanun and sweet responses by the Violin.
The message calls for our patience – in relationships and in our personal lives. Siti Aminais, the lead singer of the band is a role model for many young African women, determined to be all they can be.
After touring from East to West and from North to South with their first album “Fusing the Roots”, Siti & The Band utilized the pandemic to get back into the studio and record their second album. The stories and experiences from the Felabration Festival in Nigeria, Visa for Music in Morocco, Capital Nights in Sudan, IOMMA in La Reunion, ACCES in Nairobi and many other places are still alive and keep on influencing their musical journey and creative delivery.
Watch their new music video below and experience the island's magic.
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.