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Angélique Kidjo Wants To "Bring Rock Back To Africa" With Her New Talking Heads Album

The Grammy Award-winning Beninese singer is re-imagining the Talking Heads' classic album, Remain In Light.

When most people think of music originating from the African continent, rock isn't exactly what comes to mind.

But Angélique Kidjo was quick to remind us in a recent interview with Rolling Stone that "rock music came from the blues and thus from Africa." With her newest album, Remain in the Light, Kidjo looks to re-imaging the landmark Talking Heads album, which was widely considered to be one of the top albums of the 1980s and was deeply influenced by Fela Kuti's afrobeat.


While Kidjo's album will be released on June 8, you can watch the video for its first single, "Born Under Punches" now.

For her rendition, Kidjo partners with renowned producer Jeff Bhasker, who has worked with Rihanna, Kanye West, Drake and Jay-Z (to name only a few). This album also sees her collaborating with Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig, Blood Orange and Tony Allen, with artwork conceptualized by Kerry James Marshall.

Together, they help Kidjo peel back the classic 80s rock sound to reveal and amplify the West African rhythm that anchored the original album.

"As Remain in Light was influenced by the music of my continent, I want to pay back the homage and create my own African take on the Talking Heads' songs," Kidjo mentions. "Now is the time to bring rock back to Africa, connect our minds, and bring all our sounds to a new level of sharing and understanding."

Check out the album's lead single, "Born Under Punches," below.

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(Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

The 10 Best HHP Songs Ranked

On the second anniversary of HHP's passing, we rank 10 of the South African hip-hop legend's best songs.

Jabulani Tsambo, popularly known by his alias HHP, was a pivotal part of South African hip-hop. Renowned for trailblazing the motswako sub-genre in the early 2000s, the rapper sadly passed away on October 24th, 2018 after a long and much publicised bout with depression.

During his active years, which span two decades (from 1997 to 2018), he was instrumental in breaking barriers and bridging the gap between kwaito and hip-hop in SA, from the late 90s to early 2000s.

He became a household name in the 2000s as he spearheaded the motswako movement, propelling it to the mainstream and solidifying his legendary status in the process.

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