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Beninese Icon Angélique Kidjo Wins Third Career Grammy Award

The 2016 Grammy Award for "Best World Music Album" has gone to Angélique Kidjo for 'Sings.'

Angélique Kidjo and her third-career Grammy. Source: @angeliquekidjo


Angélique Kidjo has just won the 2016 Grammy Award for “Best World Music Album” for her Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg collaboration, Sings. The Beninese icon was up against South African choral group legends Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Malawi’s Zomba Prison Project, Gilberto Gil and Anoushka Shankar.

The win today is the third career Grammy for the Beninese icon. Kidjo took home the same award last year for her album Eve, and prior to that in 2008 for Djin Djin.

Kidjo's acceptance speech was nothing short of memorable. The artist behind Sings began  by singing her "thank you" song. "I want to dedicate this Grammy to all the traditional musicians in Africa, in my country, and all the young generation, the new African music, vibrant, joyful music that comes from my continent that you have to get yourself to discover," she went on to say. "Africa is on the rise. Africa is positive. Africa is joyful. Let's get together and be one through music and say no to hate and violence through music. Thank you"

She shared the same sentiment in an Instagram post in which the singer, activist and UN Goodwill Ambassador dedicated the award to her fellow African artists and musicians.

Twitter is already celebrating. Big up Angélique!

Audio
(Youtube)

7 Gengetone Acts You Need to Check Out

The streets speak gengetone: Kenya's gengetone sound is reverberating across East Africa and the world, get to know its main purveyors.

Sailors' "Wamlambez!"Wamlambez!" which roughly translates to "those who lick," is the cry the reverberated round the world, pushing the gengetone sound to the global stage. The response "wamnyonyez" roughly translates to "those who suck" and that should tell you all you need to know about the genre.

Known for its lewd lyrics and repetitive (often call and response) hooks, gengetone makes no apologies for belonging to the streets. First of all, most artists that create gengetone are grouped into bands with a few outliers like Zzero Sufuri riding solo. The songs themselves often feature a multiplicity of voices with screams and crowds coming through as ad libs, adding to this idea that this is definitely "outside" music.

Listening to Odi wa Muranga play with his vocal on the track "Thao" it's easy to think that this is the first, but gengetone fits snuggly in a history of sheng rap based on the kapuka style beat. Kapuka is onomatopoeically named, the beats have that repetitive drum-hat-drum skip that sounds like pu-ka-pu-ka-pu. Artists like Nonini were asking women to come over using this riff long before Ochungulo family told them to stay home if they aren't willing to give it up.

Here's seven gengetone groups worth listening to.

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