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Relive the Magic of Angola’s Golden Age of Music in This New Batida Remix

Producer Batida revisits the sounds of 1970s Angolan group Os Bongos’ alluring guitars in this new remix of “Kazucuta.”

Angolan-born producer Pedro Coquenão, better known as Batida, wants you to remember the unique sounds coming out of Angola in the ‘60s and ‘70s.


The Lisbon-raised artist revisits the sounds of 1970s Angolan group Os Bongos’ alluring guitars in this new remix of “Kazucuta.”

Os Bongos were fronted by guitarist Boto Trindade, who according to the excellent Analog Africa compilation Angola Soundtrack: The Unique Sound Of Luanda 1968-1976, “abandoned his dream of becoming a football player to support his brother's family by earning money as a musician."

“In 2014 I filmed a mini-documentary for Red Bull Music Academy and, on my flight back to Lisbon, I played with this classic after a nice chat with Mano about the magic guitar sound of cota Botto Trindade from Os Bongos,” Batida tells Okayafrica.

“In fact, it hits me every time I hear the guitar drop of this simple edit. I've played it on my DJ sets and had some requests after my last Boiler Room session this year and thought it would be nice to share it so more people can enjoy the magic of the golden age of Angolan music, when the future was wide open for every Angolan,” he says.

“Thank you Mano a Mano Productions and Analog Africa for the blessing. Please check the Angola soundtrack compilation.”

If you’re feeling the sounds and message check out Batida’s collaborative album with Konono N°1 and his quest for the freedom of 16 detained young activists in Angola.

Following a great show for Okayafrica's SummerStage concert, Batida returns to New York City on January 8 as part of globalFEST.

 

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Photo: Courtesy of Radswan

Freddie Harrel Is Building Conscious Beauty For and With the African Diaspora

Formerly known as "Big Hair Don't Care", creator Freddie Harrel and her team have released 3 new wig shapes called the "RadShapes" available now.


Photo: Courtesy of Radswan


The normalising of Black and brown women in wigs of various styles has certainly been welcomed by the community, as it has opened up so many creative avenues for Black women to take on leadership roles and make room for themselves in the industry.

Radswan (formerly known as Big Hair Don't Care), is a lifestyle brand "bringing a new perspective on Blackness through hair, by disrupting the synthetic market with innovative and sustainable products." Through their rebrand, Radswan aims to, "upscale the direct-to-consumer experience holistically, by having connected conversations around culture and identity, in order to remove the roots of stigma."

The latest from French-Cameroonian founder and creator Freddie Harrel - who was featured on our list of 100 women of 2020 - has built her career in digital marketing and reputation as an outspoken advocate for women's empowerment. On top of her business ventures, the 2018 'Cosmopolitan Influencer of the Year' uses her platform to advocate for women's empowerment with 'SHE Unleashed,' a workshop series where women of all ages come together to discuss the issues that impact the female experience, including the feeling of otherness, identity politics, unconscious bias, racism and sexism.

And hair is clearly one of her many passions, as Freddie says, "Hair embodies my freest and earliest form of self expression, and as a shapeshifter, I'm never done. I get to forever reintroduce my various angles, tell all my stories to this world that often feels constrained and biased."

Armed with a committee of Black women, Freddie has cultivated Radswan and the aesthetic that comes with the synthetic but luxurious wigs. The wigs are designed to look like as though the hair is growing out of her own head, with matching lace that compliments your own skin colour.

By being the first brand to use recycled fibres, Radswan is truly here to change the game. The team has somehow figured out how to make their products look and feel like the real thing, while using 0% human hair and not negotiating on the price, quality or persona.

In 2019, the company secured £1.5m of investment led by BBG Ventures with Female Founders Fund and Pritzker Private Capital participating, along with angelic contributions from Hannah Bronfman, Nashilu Mouen Makoua, and Sonja Perkins.

On the importance of representation and telling Black stories through the products we create, Freddie says, "Hair to me is Sundays kneeling between your mothers or aunties legs, it's your cousin or newly made friend combing lovingly through your hair, whilst you detangle your life out loud. Our constant shapeshifting teaches us to see ourselves in each other, the hands braiding always intimately touching our head more often than not laying someone's lap."

"Big Hair No Care took off in ways we couldn't keep up with," she continues, "RadSwan is our comeback.It's a lifestyle brand, it's the hair game getting an upgrade, becoming fairer and cleaner. It's the platform that recognises and celebrates your identity as a shapeshifter, your individuality and your right to be black like you."


Check out your next hairstyle from Radswan here.

Radswan's RadShape 01Photo: Courtesy of Radswan


Radswan's RadShape 02Photo: Courtesy of Radswan


Radswan's RadShape 03Photo: Courtesy of Radswan

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