Exclusive: Five Free Songs From Sierra Leone's Refugee All-Stars

The story of Sierra Leone's Refugee All-Stars has been oft told through the global dispersal of their music, as well as in a 2005 documentary chronicling the group's formation during their time at a Guinean refugee camp. At the nucleus of the All-Stars is a gang of musicians that, in seeking a form escapism and entertainment for their fellow refugees, found a way to relate their nation's civil war to the world.

On their third album Radio Salone, the Refugee All-Stars expand on their eclectic mix of West African sounds. Speaking with the Boston Globe, bandleader Reuben Koroma explained the new full-lenght's concept through its title:

“Radio was a great inspiration to our experience,” Koroma says. “Since we were kids, we listened to soukous, highlife, funk, and soul on the radio. So when we were making the record we wanted it to feel like this variety.”

The second part of the title, “Salone,” is the local contracted form of the country’s name. Koroma says the album portrays Sierra Leone and the hybrid culture it has had for over 200 years. In the late 18th and 19th centuries Freetown was a destination — giving the city its name — for repatriated slaves and others liberated from slavers intercepted on the high seas. They came from all over Africa, but became Sierra Leonean. (Boston Globe)

As an Okayafrica exclusive, we've been given five tracks off Radio Salone to give away. For a limit of 3 days, you can download "Mother In Law," Gbara Case," "Man Mayu," Big Fat Dog," and "Work It Brighter" below! As an added bonus, if you buy Radio Salone in digital/hard copy from the Cumbancha store you'll receive a free digital/hard copy of 2010's chart-topping Rise & Shine LP!

Buy Radio Salone and grab the free tunes below!

Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars - Radio Salone [OkayAfrica Free Sampler] by Cumbancha


Interview: Wavy The Creator Is Ready to See You Now

The multidisciplinary Nigerian-American artist on tapping into all her creative outlets, creating interesting things, releasing a new single and life during quarantine.

A trip canceled, plans interrupted, projects stalled. It is six months now since Wavy the Creator has had to make a stop at an undisclosed location to go into quarantine and get away from the eye of the pandemic.

The professional recording artist, photographer, writer, fashion artist, designer, and evolving creative has been spending all of this time in a house occupied by other creatives. This situation is ideal. At least for an artist like Wavy who is always in a rapid motion of creating and bringing interesting things to life. The energy around the house is robust enough to tap from and infuse into any of her numerous creative outlets. Sometimes, they also inspire trips into new creative territories. Most recently, for Wavy, are self-taught lessons on a bass guitar.

Wavy's days in this house are not without a pattern, of course. But some of the rituals and personal rules she drew up for herself, like many of us did for internal direction, at the beginning of the pandemic have been rewritten, adjusted, and sometimes ditched altogether. Some days start early and end late. Some find her at her sewing machine fixing up thrift clothes to fit her taste, a skill she picked up to earn extra cash while in college, others find her hard at work in the studio, writing or recording music.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox


The 10 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Wizkid, Alicia Keys x Diamond Platnumz, Manu WorldStar, Maya Amolo, La Dame Blanche and more.