Arts + Culture

Bombino's Tuareg Guide to Touring the U.S.

Bombino brings us his guide to touring the U.S. as a Tuareg musician.


Our new City Guide series features our favorite artists dropping insider knowledge on the best spots to hit up in the places they know best. For our latest edition we took things on the road, enlisting the help of Niger's psychedelic nomad Bombino. Between recording earlier this year at Dan Auerbach's Nashville studio and becoming a step-inducing highlight of this summer's festival circuit, who better to ask for tips on navigating North America than the electric blues outlaw? Joined by bassist/manager Eric Herman (who also plays bass in Brooklyn's afro-gyspy-funk crew Mamarazzi), Bombino's Fender-wielding caravan drops its guide to touring the U.S. as a Tuareg musician.

Favorite Venue for Blues:

Bombino: Zombie Shop, Nashville

*Bombino at the Zombie Shop, Nashville. Photo by Diana Lee Zadlo.

Favorite Venue for Afrofunk:

Eric: Jackie O's, Athens, Ohio

Favorite set caught while on tour:

B: Gogol Bordello in Memphis.

E: Wood Brothers at Governor's Island.

Bluesiest City:

B: New Orleans.

E: New Orleans.

U.S. festival where the Festival au Désert spirit is most alive:

B: Globalquerque.

E: Burning Man.

Favorite North African dining experience:

B: A Tuareg restaurant in Montreal

Favorite Record Store:

B: Amoeba records, Berkeley, CA.

Best souvenir to take back to Niger:

B: A man gave me a beautiful silver bell yesterday. He said my music saved his life in the hospital and he wanted me to have it.

Favorite American Guitar to Play:

B: Cort and Fender guitars, for sure.

For more city guides read up on Alec Lomami's lowdown on Kinshasa and Christian Tiger School's favorite spots in Cape Town.

Best Music of the Week: Maleek Berry, DJ Neptune x Runtown & More

These are the songs you need to hear this week.

Every week, we highlight the cream of the crop in music through our Best Music of the Week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow OkayAfrica on Spotify and Apple Music to get immediate updates every week and read about some of our selections ahead.

Maleek Berry "Let Me Know"

Maleek Berry's excellent Last Daze of Summer EP is still banging pretty much everywhere. "Let Me Know" is the latest track off the EP to get the visual treatment. In the romantic clip, Maleek and the girl he has his eye on head to Cape Town.

DJ Neptune "Why" feat. Runtown

DJ Neptune comes through with "Why," the latest single off his upcoming album, G.R.E.A.T.N.E.S.S. The slow-burning tune features the man behind one of 2016's biggest songs ("Mad Over You"), Runtown, and was produced by Del B.

Kae Sun "Stalk"

Ghanaian-Canadian singer Kae Sun is back with a guitar-led dance jam in "Stalk." The new single is paired with a striking, nighttime forrest music video, filmed in his home of Montreal. "Stalk" is the lead track of Kae Sun's upcoming LP due next year.

RMBO x Peta Teanet

RMBO, the solo moniker of Tshepang Ramoba (BLK JKS), is readying the release of his upcoming EP. In the meantime, he's sent over this addictive remix of South African disco artist Peta Teanet. "Chachali Malindela" will light up any dance floor.

Ayo Awosika "You're The One"

Nigerian-American singer Ayo Awosika has played stages across the globe as Miley Cyrus' backup singer. She's now stepping out on her own with "You're The One," a sweet and beautiful love letter to Nigeria.

Yaa Yaa "Life" feat. FanteFante

Ghanaian singer Yaa Yaa has released the motivational and uplifting single "LIie," featuring FanteFante. The song's about shaking off life's troubles and pushing on ahead. Check it out above and grab it on iTunes here now.


Follow our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music to get immediate updates every week.

Cape Town Hip-Hop Legend Jitsvinger Drops His First Project In 10 Years

Jitsvinger's latest EP is a mixture of boom-bap, jazz and Afrikaaps lyricism.

Cape Town musician Jitsvinger last released an album, Skeletsleutel, in 2007.

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Music
Zwai Bala produced most of TKZee's hits. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

The 10 Best Kwaito Producers

Get to know the the 10 most notable old school kwaito producers.

"Kwaito will never die," tweeted the rapper Riky Rick about a week ago.

This was after he'd just released a new single called "Stay Shining." The song features fellow rapper Cassper Nyovest, alongside the Durban kwaito artist Professor, Alie Keys and the DJ duo Major League DJz.

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