News Brief
Ras Kwame/Orange Hill. Image provided.

Here's Your New Jam Just in Time For Notting Hill Carnival

Listen to our premiere of Orange Hill's "Up Wid It!" featuring Mr. Vegas.

Orange Hill is the project of British-Ghanaian DJ, producer and radio presenter Ras Kwame, known for its fusion of Caribbean riddims and electronic sounds.

The London-based project is now readying the release of The Carnival EP, due tomorrow, an ode to the vibe and atmosphere of Notting Hill Carnival.

"Up Wid It!," which features Jamaican dancehall veteran Mr. Vegas, is built on some high-energy Afro Bashment beat work. It's the perfect soundtrack to any carnival season.


"The Carnival EP is a project inspired by Jamaican street slang and Notting Hill Carnival," Ras Kwame tells OkayAfrica. "This EP is all about vibes and energy, and there's few people who bring more vibes and energy than Mr. Vegas. We always wanted to work with each other so we just had to get him on one of our tracks, and of course he brought it. UP WID IT!"

Listen to our premiere of Orange Hill and Mr. Vegas' "Up Wid It!,"which is coming out on Delicious Vinyl Island.

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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