News Brief
(Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Warner Music)

Burna Boy performs onstage at the Warner Music Group Pre-Grammy Party on January 23, 2020 in Hollywood, California.

Watch a Video of UK Protesters Dancing to Burna Boy’s ‘Ye’

A joyful and powerful act of community in an otherwise distressing environment.

A clip of UK protesters dancing to Nigerian artist Burna Boy's hit single "Ye" surfaced on social media this week.

The minute-long clip shows a group of individuals taking turns to dance in a circle, while the crowds cheer each other on. The choice of "Ye" was fitting, as the 2018 song speaks to a cry for freedom. The track, which is fondly considered Nigeria's second national anthem, speaks to police brutality and the abuse and embarrassment often imposed upon Nigerians, and Africans as a whole, due to their appearances.


In an interview with Fader, Burna Boy spoke of the music video for the song by saying, "Ye is a song that essentially shows the unrelenting nature of Nigerians (where I'm from). We thrive despite the leadership and circumstances … 'I can't come and kill myself' is an expression that means, you can't dwell on things that aren't working out or looking good, you only have one life after all."

With that context, understanding the connection between the protesters dancing and the afro-fusion track makes for an incredibly powerful visual. The incident speaks to the recent influx of people protesting police brutality and racial injustices worldwide, after the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man. While the incident took place in the United States of America, societies and communities from all over the world are finding parallels within their own justice systems and are finding power in numbers.

Check out the video below.


UK protestors vibing to YE by Burna Boy - Black Lives Matter www.youtube.com

Interview
Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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