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Femi Kuti. Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100

Femi Kuti & Stromae Appear On a New Coldplay Song 'Arabesque'

The Nigerian afrobeat legend and Belgian-Rwandan pop star will feature on Coldplay's new album, Everyday Life.

In a sentence we never thought we'd type, both Femi Kuti and Stromae appear on a new song from Coldplay.

Both the Nigerian legend and Belgian pop star are featured on "Arabesque," a newly released Coldplay track from their upcoming "more experimental" album Everyday Life (due November 22 via Parlophone/Atlantic), which was shared by the band alongside the main single "Orphans."

"Arabesque" is an expansive composition built on what sounds like North African-inspired guitars and rhythms, which call to mind the likes of Bombino and Tinariwen. The song sees Stromae delivering a verse in French.

Femi Kuti comes in around the 2-minute mark for a solid and extensive saxophone solo. The song also notably features a sample of Fela Kuti's famous quote "music is the weapon of the future."

Coldplay's Everyday Life is being promoted as a double album, which is split into two halves, Sunrise and Sunset. "Arabesque" is from the Sunrise portion of the album, while "Orphans" is from Sunset.

Listen to both "Arabesque" and "Orphans" below.



Coldplay - Arabesque (Official Lyric Video) youtu.be


Coldplay - Orphans (Official Video) youtu.be

Music
Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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