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.


Adekunle Gold Is Living His Best Life

We speak to the Nigerian star about how marriage and fatherhood have led him to find both newfound happiness and newfound freedom as an artist.

''I'm having the time of my life,'' says Adekunle Gold over a Zoom call while seated in his office in Lagos. ''I'm making songs that are so true to my current energy, my current vibe.'' When I got on the call with the 34-year-old artist on a Wednesday afternoon, the first thing I noticed was his hair tied up in little braids, the second was his wide smile. As we speak, the crooner laughs multiple times but it's his aura that shines through the computer screen, it lets you know better than his words that he's truly having the time of life.

Born Adekunle Kosoko, the popular Nigerian singer got married barely two years ago to fellow artist Simi. Last year, the power couple welcomed their first child. As we talk, Gold points to his journey as a father and a husband as some of the biggest inspirations at the moment not just as far as music goes but as his perspective in life and how he now approaches things.

''My [artistry] has changed a lot because being a father and being a husband has made me grow a lot and more.'' Adekunle Gold tells OkayAfrica. ''It has made me understand life a lot more too. I'm feeling more responsible for people. You know, now I have a kid to raise and I have a wife to support, to be a real man and husband and father for.'' He credits this journey with both his newfound happiness and a newfound freedom as an artist.

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