News Brief

Emel’s Tunisian Folk Electronica Is a Symbol of Political Resistance

Tunisian singer Emel Mathlouthi announces her upcoming album and shares her latest, politically-charged single "Ensen Dhaif."

Emel Mathlouthi’s music has been a symbol of political resistance in her home country, Tunisia, ever since her song “Kelmti Horra (My Word Is Free)” became the anthem of the Arab Spring in 2010.


The song manifested itself as a poignant battle cry for those raising their voices in opposition of oppressive governments.

Emel is returning, with a new album Ensen and a resounding, percussion-filled lead single in tow.

“Ensen Dhaif” sees the singer’s emphatic lyrics and expressive delivery set atop pulsing production—a sound reminiscent of M.I.A’s brand of bold electro-rap. Emel points to Bjork, Massive Attack and James Blake as the inspirations for her unique intermix of Tunisian folk music, electronica and rock.

“Ensen Dhaif” is no less politically charged than the singer’s previous offerings. In an interview with Pitchfork, she describes the gutsy single as “a dedication to people who have to carry the weight and all the struggles so that a very small percentage can enjoy the power.”

Listen to the track and watch Emel’s album announcement clip below. Ensen is due out February 24 via Partisan Records.

We previously mentioned Emel in our piece about Rap and Resistance in North Africa, revisit the article here.

Audio

The Songs You Need to Hear This Week

These are the best songs that came across our desks this week, featuring Davido, Jidenna, Spoek Mathambo and more.

At the end of every week, we highlight the creme of the crop in music and round up the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks throughout the last few days.

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Emel Mathlouthi, the 'Voice of the Tunisian Revolution,' On Political Art & Her New Album

An interview with Tunisian singer Emel Mathlouthi, who's releasing her second album, 'Ensen,' this week.

I met up with Tunisian singer Emel Mathlouthi at Chaiwali on the corner of 124th Street and Lenox, a few blocks from her adopted home in Harlem.

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News Brief

South African Hip-Hop Awards 2019: Full List of Winners

Here is the full list of winners for the 2018 SAHHAs.

The 8th annual South African Hip-Hop Awards took place last night at the Lyric Theatre, Joburg.

Some notable wins include YoungstaCPT's 3T winning Album of the Year, Ginger Trill for Lyricist of the Year, Flame taking Best Freshman and Best Male, Nadia Nakai winning Best Female, Makwa winning Best Producer and Falko One receiving the honorary award.

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Still from RTN TV's YouTube page.

Prominent Somali Activist Almaas Elman Shot and Killed In Mogadishu

The organizer and sister of Nobel Peace Prize-nominated activist Ilwad Elman, was shot dead while riding in a car on Wednesday.

Almaas Elman, a prominent Somali rights activist and organizer was killed today in Mogadishu. She died after being hit by a bullet while riding inside of a car in the Halane compound, reports the Somali news site Hiiraan.

Though details surrounding her death remain uncertain, according to security on the ground Elman "was riding in a car along a road inside the airport," Mohamed Omar, a Somali security official told News 24. "A stray bullet hit her, and she died within a few minutes." The complex is also the headquarters of African Union soldiers.

She was believed to been heading to the airport after attending a meeting at the Elman Peace Centre, which was founded by her father, the respected Somali activist Elman Ali Ahmed, who was assasinated in Mogadishu in 1996.

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