News Brief
BONJ. Courtesy of artist.

SA Singer BONJ Will Be Opening For Sam Smith On All South African Dates Of His Tour ‘The Thrill Of It All’

BONJ will be joining Sam Smith on the SA leg of his world tour.

Sam Smith's The Thrill Of It All World Tour will hit South Africa in April. The South African leg of the tour will have five dates in Cape Town and Joburg. The South African soul/pop/house singer BONJ will be joining the soul/pop star on all these dates.


If you read our website, you should have at least seen BONJ's name. The artist was, until recently, known for being a member of the now-defunct Cape Town band The CITY. You may also be familiar with the several collaborations she has worked on with veteran producer and DJ, Maramza.

Last year, BONJ signed a deal with Universal Music Group, under which she released her single "Till The Tide." The song blends soul and electronic music, and was one of our favorite SA songs last year.

Get familiar with BONJ; listen to her tunes below (or on her SoundCloud page), and be sure to cop a ticket to the Sam Smith tour to see her do her thing live.




The Thrill Of It All World Tour, South Africa dates:

  • JHB: 13 April at the Ticketpro Dome (Sold Out)
  • JHB: 14 April at the Ticketpro Dome
  • CPT: 16 April at the Grand Arena, GrandWest
  • CPT: 17 April at the Grand Arena, GrandWest
  • CPT: 18 April at the Grand Arena, GrandWest
Interview
Photo: Schure Media Group/Roc Nation

Interview: Buju Banton Is a Lyrical Purveyor of African Truth

A candid conversation with the Jamaican icon about his new album, Upside Down 2020, his influence on afrobeats, and the new generation of dancehall.

Devout fans of reggae music have been longing for new musical offerings from Mark Anthony Myrie, widely-known as the iconic reggae superstar Buju Banton. A shining son of Jamaican soil, with humble beginnings as one of 15 siblings in the close-knit community of Salt Lane, Kingston, the 46-year-old musician is now a legend in his own right.

Buju Banton has 12 albums under his belt, one Grammy Award win for Best Reggae Album, numerous classic hits and a 30-year domination of the industry. His larger-than-life persona, however, is more than just the string of accolades that follow in the shadows of his career. It is his dutiful, authentic style of Caribbean storytelling that has captured the minds and hearts of those who have joined him on this long career ride.

The current socio-economic climate of uncertainty that the COVID-19 pandemic has thrusted onto the world, coupled with the intensified fight against racism throughout the diaspora, have taken centre stage within the last few months. Indubitably, this makes Buju—and by extension, his new album—a timely and familiar voice of reason in a revolution that has called for creative evolution.

With his highly-anticipated album, Upside Down 2020, the stage is set for Gargamel. The title of this latest discography feels nothing short of serendipitous, and with tracks such as "Memories" featuring John Legend and the follow-up dancehall single "Blessed," it's clear that this latest body of work is a rare gem that speaks truth to vision and celebrates our polylithic African heritage in its rich fullness and complexities.

Having had an exclusive listen to some other tracks on the album back in April, our candid one-on-one conversation with Buju Banton journeys through his inspiration, collaboration and direction for Upside Down 2020, African cultural linkages and the next generational wave of dancehall and reggae.

This interview has been shortened and edited for clarity.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

[Op-Ed] Speeka: “‘Dankie San’ brought me closer to kasi rap”

A personal reflection on one of South Africa's most influential hip-hop albums, 'Dankie San' by PRO.