Audio: Andra Kouyaté and Sèkè Chi x Amadou & Mariam 'Lagaré' [Premiere]

Andra Kouyaté, the young gun of a respected griot family, plays the bass n'goni — a mutation of the West African lute that he designed and constructed himself. Flanked by the Sèkè Chi ensemble, Andra is pushing tradional Bamana, Puel and Maninka influences into unexplored sonic grounds. In "Lagaré" he's joined by Malian duo Amadou & Mariam for a hazy, syncopated-beat mediation carried by string arpeggios. It's far from traditional griot music but retains its nomadic essence. Stream "Lagaré" below, you can find the track on Andra Kouyaté and Sèkè Chi's upcoming album Saro, out July 31 via Studio Mali.


How Technology Is Playing a Crucial Role in the #EndSARS Protests

Young people in Nigeria have successfully managed to use technological innovations to organize and make the #EndSARS protests run incredibly efficiently and easily. This moment will go down in history as a revolution that was birthed via technology.

It has been more than a week since young people in Nigeria took to the streets to demand that the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, infamously known as SARS, be scrapped for good. Created in 1992, this police unit was originally set up to beat back armed robbery, the use of firearms and rising cases of kidnappings that grew in the late eighties. However, the unit went rogue, becoming more notorious for its savagery than actual crime-fighting. With a rap sheet ranging from profiling, harassment and assault to, in more extreme cases, slaughtering innocent citizens, these quasi-officers have unleashed terror on the nation for more than two decades.

Their victims are predominantly young Nigerians profiled on appearance—whether they drive exotic vehicles, use the latest gadgets, have their hair dyed or locked, or have piercings. In some cases, working in tech often gets conflated with financial fraud. For people who don't meet the absurd criteria, the mood of the officer can often become the difference between life and death.

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