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You Need This Mixtape Of Ebo Taylor's Afrobeat & Highlife In Your Life

The legendary Ghanaian highlife and afrobeat musician gets a mix from Chris Read.

Ghanaian music legend Ebo Taylor has just released his latest record, Yen Araan album that he's calling his finest to date.

The 81-year-old veteran has been a key figure in the evolving afrobeat and highlife sound since his arrival in the late 1950s, when he played with his group the Black Star Highlife Band and collaborated with the likes of Fela Kuti.

He later went on to lead the Ghana Black Star Band and the Uhuru Dance Band back in Ghana, and also worked with groups like Apagya Show Band, CK Mann and Pat Thomas in the '70s.

Now, to pair with the release of Yen Ara on Mr Bongo, UK producer and DJ Chris Read has put together an incredible mix of Ebo Taylor classics that we're premiering here.

"I was thrilled when I was asked to put together this mix of material from the wonderful Ebo Taylor in support of his new album," Read mentions.

"Like most music from his generation, my first point of discovery was through samples, so this mix includes tracks like 'Come Along' (as sampled by Ghetto Concept, whose track 'Certified' I also included) alongside a selection of favourite cuts from his back catalogue. A couple of years back I had the pleasure of DJing in support of one Ebo's live shows in London—it was an education in Afrobeat and Highlife, and I can only hope that I might have the same energy and enthusiasm for music that his live performances and his new album exhibit after 8 decades."

Yen Ara, which is available now, features nine tracks that push Ebo Taylo's energetic highlife and afrobeat into modern times with the aid of pulsating beats and hard-hitting percussion.

Listen to Chris Read's mixtape and check out the track list below. It'll make your week—or even your year.

TRACKLIST

1. Ghetto Concept - Certifed (Instrumental) [Samples Ebo Taylor - Come Along]

2. Chris Read - Theme #1 (Scratchapella)

3. My Love and Music

4. Maye Omama

5. Gyae Su Na Nkomo

6. Bra

7. Enye Nyame Niko

8. Will You Promise

9, Aba Yaa

10. Efi Na Matase

11. Ankoma'm

12. Ohye Atar Gyan

13. Come Along

14. No Condition is Permanent

15. Egya Edu

16. Victory

17. Atwer Abroba

18. What Is Life

19. Peace on Earth

20. Mind Your Own Business

21. Mumudey Mumudey

22. Break Through

Interview
Image supplied by Candice Chirwa.

In Conversation with Candice Chirwa: 'Menstruation is More than Just Bleeding for Seven Days.'

South African activist Candice Chirwa, the 'Minister of Menstruation', speaks to us about what a period-positive world looks like, the challenges menstruators face even in 2020 and her important advocacy work with QRATE.

It's 2020, and naturally, tremendous advancements have been made across various spheres of society. From the prospect of self-driving cars and drones delivering medicines to rural areas to comparatively progressive politics and historic "firsts" for many disenfranchised groups, we've certainly come a long way. However, in the midst of all that progress, there is still one issue which continues to lag behind considerably and consistently, particularly in less developed countries: menstruation.

Candice Chirwa is a young Black woman on a mission to fiercely change the disempowering narratives and taboos that still shroud the issue of menstruation. The 24-year-old South African activist, who is endearingly known as the "Minister of Menstruation" on social media, wants young girls and women to not only accept but embrace their bodies fully in a society that insists on speaking in hushed tones about a perfectly normal biological process. Both Chirwa's research and advocacy work with the UN and her award-winning NGO, QRATE, has focused on dispelling common myths about menstruating, removing the shame and stigma around it and giving menstruators the knowledge and tools they need to navigate their world through impactful workshops.

And when Chirwa isn't collaborating with Lil-Lets, one of the biggest sanitary product brands on the continent, or co-authoring a bad-ass book titled Perils of Patriarchy, she's dominating the TEDx stage and making sure that her audience, no matter how diverse or varied, leaves the room feeling comfortable and courageous enough to boldly shout the word "vagina".

We caught up with Chirwa to discuss what initially compelled her to become a "period-positive" activist, her continued advocacy work with QRATE and what kind of world she imagines for menstruators.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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