Photos

Bushfire Festival 2016 in Photos: Sauti Sol, Oliver Mtukudzi, Ice Prince & More

Bushfire celebrated its 10th anniversary in Swaziland with performances from Sauti Sol, Oliver Mtukudzi, Ice Prince and more.

MTN Bushfire celebrated its 10th anniversary in Swaziland over the weekend. Tens of thousands gathered at the picturesque Malkerns Valley, surrounded by mountains and rows of sugar canes.


The festival began with a beat of promise as the great Swazi diva Pachanga brought her reggae-and-rock-influenced Swazi songs to the main stage.

Vaudou Game performed their crowd-pleasing Togolese vodun funk. Canadian singer-songwriter Cold Specks illuminated the House On Fire Amphitheatre with her beautiful ‘doom soul’. The first night closed off with DJ Zinhle getting everyone dancing back to their tents and rooms.

On the second day of the festival the highly-acclaimed Swazi musician Bholoja enchanted the crowd with his own brand of Swazi soul. The legendary Mozambican band Ghorwane was a personal highlight. Seeing them live took me back to all the times I'd listen to Roberto Chitsondzo (the band’s frontman) at my mother's house.

Blitz the Ambassador, the Ghanaian-born, Brooklyn-based emcee, won me over right away. Bombshelter Beast brought Pitch Black Afro on stage, another nostalgic twist for the many South Africans in the audience.

The final day of the festival opened with South Africa’s Jesse Clegg and Swazi Maskandi musician Fanaza, with Oliver Mtukudzi set to close the day. Songhoy Blues encountered some issues at the border, but they were electrifying when they hit the stage. The festival closed on a high note with an exhilarating performance from the legendary “Tuku” train.

Blitz The Ambassador. Photo: Paul Paunde

Blitz The Ambassador. Photo: Paul Paunde

Sauti Sol. Photo: Paul Paunde

Ice Prince. Photo: Paul Paunde

Oliver Mtukudzi. Photo: Paul Paunde

South African MC Pitch Black Afro joins Bombshelter Beast on stage. Photo: Paul Paunde

South African MC Pitch Black Afro joins Bombshelter Beast on stage. Photo: Paul Paunde

Photo: Paul Paunde

Photo: Paul Paunde

Swiss DJ and producer, Pablo Nouvelle. Photo: Paul Paunde

Roberto Chitsondzo of the legendary Mozambican band, Ghorwane. Photo: Paul Paunde

Swazi-born musician, Bholoja. Photo: Paul Paunde

Interview

Malian Rapper Ami Yerewolo Rises Against All Odds

Ami Yerewolo reflects on her hard-won rap career, new album AY and why she insists on creating support spaces for young female rappers in Mali and beyond.

"No one is a prophet in his or her own land!" This is an accurate way to describe Ami Yerewolo's career to a tee. The Malian rapper's music has not always been popular in her home country, where female rappers are generally frowned upon. Instead, it has taken off abroad. Yerewolo's upbeat sound mixes traditional Malian elements with fast drums, contemporary beats and significant lyrics that compel listeners to reflect on life — all of which makes her songs carry a universal appeal. Her new album, AY (titled after the rapper's initials) has just been released by the label Othentiq.

Yerewolo shares her frank thoughts below...

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