Why These Songs From Mali Are Just Right For Our Pandemic Times

The Malian singer Rokia Koné is known as the Rose of Bamako. In a country known for world class instrumentation and great female vocalists, mainly through recordings and performances from luminaries such as Oumou Sangaré and Fatoumata Diawara, Koné has emerged as one of the most innovative, experimental African singers on the international music scene.Continue reading “Why These Songs From Mali Are Just Right For Our Pandemic Times”

The French Togolese Singer Who Builds on Jazz, Soul and African Percussion

Our newest Limitless profile is on the Togolese French singer Laura Prince, whose début album Peace of Mine is a transcultural blend of jazz, soul and African music. She is pushing for new instrumentation that builds on her dual heritage, and on her many influences from around the world. She tells us why she isContinue reading “The French Togolese Singer Who Builds on Jazz, Soul and African Percussion”

The Kenyan Musician Playing an Instrument Forbidden to Women

Next up in our Limitless series on women succeeding in male-dominated industries, Labdi Ommes is a pioneer in the world of traditional music. She explains why women are her staunchest fans. Labdi Ommes is a rebel. She has delved into a career as a singer-songwriter whose instrument of choice is the orutu, the one-stringed verticalContinue reading “The Kenyan Musician Playing an Instrument Forbidden to Women”

Why This Book Tells a Singular History of African Music

When Jenny Cathcart travelled to Senegal in 1984 as a member of the BBC TV film crew that produced The Africans, she met with the rising star Youssou N’Dour. It was a fateful meeting which led to her abiding interest in African music and culture. When the term ‘world music’ was coined in London, JennyContinue reading “Why This Book Tells a Singular History of African Music”

A Star Is Born

A day ahead of our interview with author Jenny Cathcart, we are publishing an excerpt from her book Notes from Africa: A Musical Journey with Youssou N’Dour. [responsive id=’48465′ name=’2021/03/NotesfromAfrica_FC.jpg’] A STAR IS BORN As he emerged on the local music scene, Youssou N’Dour, Senegal’s first pop idol, was often compared to American superstar MichaelContinue reading “A Star Is Born”

What Is This African Art Project at the Grand Palais in Paris?

The pandemic caused the Africa2020 Season, which was scheduled to showcase cultural projects all over France, to be postponed, but the Season did kick off in December 2020, and the plan is that it will unfold as planned until July 2021. N’Goné Fall, the Senegalese General Commissioner of the Africa2020 Season, called the large scaleContinue reading “What Is This African Art Project at the Grand Palais in Paris?”

This New Music Will Help You Survive Quarantine

The pandemic has proven a great opportunity for musicians to challenge themselves outside of performing on stage. At a time when many have been hyping on the newfound studio inspiration that comes with isolation, cultural critics have gained a new understanding of the many ways quarantine can actually help to create timeless music. Davy DenkeContinue reading “This New Music Will Help You Survive Quarantine”

Eyes on 2021: The Nigerian Migrant Who Is Becoming a Musical Sensation in Italy

Chris Obehi was just 17 when he ran away from Boko Haram and left Edo State in Nigeria. He wasn’t just another West African migrant willing to risk his life to cross the Atlantic, in search of a better life. In Libya, he was held captive, along with 200 other migrants. When he escaped, heContinue reading “Eyes on 2021: The Nigerian Migrant Who Is Becoming a Musical Sensation in Italy”

Eyes on 2021: The Singer Who Is Drawing on her Congolese and Belgian Identities

At 22, Imelda Gabs is finding her voice as a singer-songwriter and producer, drawing on her dual Congolese and Belgian heritage. A songwriter since she was a child, and a performer since she was a teenager, she was first noticed in 2017, on the big stage of the Montreux Jazz Festival, when she sang aContinue reading “Eyes on 2021: The Singer Who Is Drawing on her Congolese and Belgian Identities”