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Meet musician and entrepreneur MIC ASSASSIN

4 Juillet 2021 , Rédigé par www.afrocultureblog.com Publié dans #micassassin, #music, #afroculture, #2021, #ENG, #blackoutday2021, #afrocultureblog, #UK

Musician and entrepreneur Mic Assassin

Musician and entrepreneur Mic Assassin

"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:

Meet musician and entrepreneur MIC ASSASSIN
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"Mother Nature," Angelique Kidjo's newest album out now!

19 Juin 2021 , Rédigé par www.afrocultureblog.com Publié dans #music, #angeliquekidjo, #afroculture, #2021, #ENG, #afrocultureblog

New album Mother Nature out now!

New album Mother Nature out now!

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!

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South African singer songwriter Nomfusi releases her single “IQAQA”on 25th June 2021

19 Juin 2021 , Rédigé par www.afrocultureblog.com Publié dans #south africa, #music, #nomfusi, #afroculture, #2021, #afrocultureblog

South African singer songwriter Nomfusi releases her single “IQAQA”on 25th June 2021

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.

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DEBUT SINGLE 'OGOU (PRAN KA MWEN)'

30 Mai 2021 , Rédigé par www.afrocultureblog.com Publié dans #music, #2021, #afroculture, #ENG, #lazoumizik, #haiti

  LAKOU MIZIK AND JOSEPH RAY   SHARE DEBUT SINGLE 'OGOU (PRAN KA MWEN)'  FROM NEWLY ANNOUNCED JOINT ALBUM 'LEAVE THE BONES'

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.

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New single SUBIRA by Siti and the Band

30 Mai 2021 , Rédigé par www.afrocultureblog.com Publié dans #music, #afroculture, #2021, #ENG, #subira, #zanzibar

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!

New single SUBIRA by Siti and the Band

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.

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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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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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