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Ngoni Pioneer Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni Ba's Forthcoming 'Ba Power' LP

Malian ngoni player Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni Ba share an album teaser and the song "Siran Fen" from their forthcoming 'Ba Power' LP.


Ahead of the release of Malian ngoni pioneer Bassekou Kouyaté & his band Ngoni Ba's fourth LP Ba Power later this spring, Kouyaté and the group are sharing lead single "Siran Fen" along with an album video teaser. Providing a snippet of the making of Ba Power, the John Bosch-shot teaser shows Kouyaté in his hometown of Bamako as he records his new LP in his son Mamadou's studio. Throughout the clip, which plays like a mini-documentary, a narrator informs the viewer that the musician brought the wah-wah and distortion pedals to the lute-like ngoni and Kouyaté reveals that the instrument has been in his family for generations and continues to be played by his son.

Though some of Kouyaté's ngoni playing can be heard in the album teaser, the artist's technique explodes in "Siran Fen," a feast of ngoni spikes, rapid drums, and impassioned vocals from Amy Sacko, Kouyaté's wife. Ba Power, which was produced in Mali by Chris Eckman, joins Malian musicians such as Samba Touré and Adama Yalomba with Western artists like Jon Hassell and Dave Smith. Speaking about the LP, Kouyaté mentions: "'Ba' in Bambara means 'strong' or  'great' and it also means 'group.' I called the album Ba Power because I think the messages on it are very important and strong, and it is also definitely the album with the toughest sound I've ever made. I want these songs to grab as many people as possible.”

Ba Power will be released in CD/LP/Digital formats on April 27 via Glitterbeat Records. Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni Ba will have an album launch show for Ba Power on May 31 at London's Scala. The band will also perform at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival on May 3 and the Wychwood Festival on May 30. Watch the album teaser for Ba Power and listen to "Siran Fen" below.

Style
Image courtesy of Daily Paper

Wekafore Releases Fela Kuti Inspired Collab With Daily Paper

The one-of-a-kind 'The Spirit Don't Die' capsule collection celebrates African heritage and a hope for a brighter future.

Amsterdam-based African streetwear brand Daily Paper has joined Nigerian fashion brand Wekafore in creating a unique capsule collection of note. The 'The Spirit Don't Die' collection is inspired by fashion and Nigerian activism icon Fela Kuti, but celebrates the bountiful beauty, potential, and heritage of Africans.

Nigerian designer Wekaforé Maniu Jibril, owner, and designer of the Wekafore brand has been hot since his 2013 debut. The brand has gone on to become a great success within the realm of West African fashion. Wekaforé represents a newer, more fearless generation of African designers and their latest collaborative collection tells the tale.

Daily Paper x Wekaforé 'The Spirit Don't Die' collectionImage courtesy of Daily Paper


The two popular brands share a rich history and intention to further African fashion's reputation in the world, as well as as a shared desire for raw necessity, organic growth, and authentic community engagement, development and, support. The fashion brands are making it known that street and casual wear are more than we once thought - fashion can be inclusive and fun. The stars truly aligned to bring us this partnership guided by similar core values and the hunger to celebrate Africa and her diasporas through fashion.

The Fela Kuti-inspired collection is filled with distinctive and bold pieces, honoring Africa's past while paving the way towards the future. Wekafore is known for their clear integration of West Africa's 1970's cultural golden age, and this limited collection speaks to those themes, making it a no-brainer to dedicate the line to the legendary King of Afrobeat, whose style never disappointed. It's clear to see how Kuti's influence inspired the exciting and vibrant creative renaissance seen in the collection. On using Kuti as his muse, Wekaforé says, "Like Fela, the pieces are very punk, very psychedelic, and very African at the same time. And that represents me 100%. And I think being able to speak that way through a platform like Daily Paper is a testament to contemporary African consciousness."


Image courtesy of Daily Paper

Daily Paper x Wekafore 'The Spirit Don't Die' Collection

Check out more of Daily Paper x Wekafore's collection 'The Spirit Don't Die' collection here.

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