Audio

Clap! Clap! and Bongeziwe Mabandla's New Track Will Give You the Lift You Need

Producer Clap! Clap! and South African folk singer Bongeziwe Mabandla deliver the beautiful and uplifting "Nguwe."

Producer and multi-instrumentalist Clap! Clap! delivered one of our favorite albums of the year back in 2014—a record that showcased his unique fusion of West African field recordings with synth and drum programming.


Since then, the producer's landed high-end gigs like collaborating on three songs with Paul Simon for the veteran songwriter's latest album.

Clap! Clap! (aka Cristiano Crisci) has now announced the release of his second record, A Thousand Skies, which looks to further his exploration into the meeting point between traditional African rhythms and footwork, hip-hop, juke and house-influenced production.

"Nguwe" the latest single from the album, sees the producer joining forces with South African folk singer Bongeziwe Mabandla for a beautiful and uplifting track packed with stuttering synthesizers and a kaleidoscopic beat.

Bongeziwe Mabandla.

“I fell in love with Bongeziwe's voice the first time I heard it, and think that his album Umlilo is a MASTERPIECE," Clap! Clap! writes to Okayafrica. "His voice makes me dream every time I listen to once of his songs, 'Isizathu' is one of my favourites of his."

"I'm such a fan of his voice and style but was keen to collaborate on a more experimental song with him, taking us both in a new direction. We are both in love with the result, and very happy to bring something fresh and quite different from our usual styles!"

A Thousand Skies is due February 17 via Black Acre and will also feature collaborations with John Wizards and OY.

Stream Clap! Clap! and Bongeziwe Mabandla's "Nguwe," premiering here today, above.

Producer Clap! Clap! aka Cristiano Crisci.

Interview

Angelique Kidjo Writes a Love Letter to 'Mother Nature'

We talk to the Beninese musical icon about assembling her new album on Zoom and the "bigger than COVID-19" threat that lies ahead!

The kind of infectious energy that lives within Angelique Kidjo can't be contained by Zoom. Her zest for life reaches out far beyond any screen, and burns stronger than the fastest internet connection.

"I can't wait until we're in person hugging again," she enthuses soon after joining our Zoom meeting to discuss her latest album Mother Nature. Having been on the receiving end of a hug from the four-time Grammy-winning singer, I know exactly what I'm missing out on. "Me too," I say, as I wrap my arms around my laptop, my face squishing the screen. "No, no," she retorts. "I don't want that. You keep it. I want the real deal," she chuckles, her full-bodied trademark laughter lovingly admonishing me.

The Benin-born musician is preparing to release Mother Nature, a collection of songs reflecting our one Earth, and cementing her status as an African musical icon. Collaborating with the likes of Yemi Alade, Mr Eazi, Burna Boy, Sampa the Great, Shungudzo and more, Kidjo's crossing through time and space, over age and country through Mother Nature's themes and stories. Each track is infused with a vigor that only she possesses — the kind that shares a significant message even as the listener is called to just dance or sing along.

Below, Angelique Kidjo reminisces about making the album, and chats us through her hopes and dreams for it!

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