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Okayafrica TV: Freshlyground's New Edge

We caught up with South African music staple Freshlyground at NYC's Gotham Hall to chat briefly about the band's shift in sound and aesthetic from "happy and positive" to surrealist and edgy.


After emerging from a two-year recording hiatus, South African afro-pop staple Freshlyground released their 5th studio album, Take Me To The Dance. This album marked many firsts for the band, which has been a collective for ten years. TMTTD was the first time they recorded with Grammy Award-winning producer and session player Steve Berlin, and it was the first time they took charge of all their own marketing and distribution, partnering with South African retailer Pick n Pay for the release. Freshlyground also brought a new sound and style to the album. When we premiered their music video for the infectious electronic single "Take Me To The Dance," FG fans were surprised by the shift in aesthetic. Instead of what Kyla-Rose Smith describes as "happy and positive and Rainbow Nation," the video for "Take Me To The Dance" is rather dark, surrealist, and edgy.

We caught up with the women of Freshlyground, violinist Kyla-Rose Smith, and lead vocalist Zolani Mahola, on their latest venture to New York City to accept the 'Next Generation' award at the Shared Interest Awards Gala. Freshlyground were dressed to the nines to perform for fellow award winners of the evening, singer, actor and activist Harry Belafonte, and freedom fighter and social justice activist Father Michael Lapsley. Before accepting their award we briefly chatted about the choice to rejuvenate their sound. Catch the full interview below and DL Take Me To The Dance here.

[embed width="640"][/embed]

Producer: Allison Swank

Interviewer: Emma Tammi

Videographer: Henry Jacobson

Editor: Samuel Bathrick

 

Film
(Youtube)

10 African Films That Deal With Protest Culture & History

African countries have a long history of protests and demonstrations against forces of oppression, and this has been represented significantly in cinema.

Around the world, Nigerians in the diaspora have picked up the mantle of protesting peacefully against police brutality and violence. These gatherings are a direct extension of the nationwide protests that were brought to a tragic halt in Lagos after soldiers of the Nigerian army fired guns at peaceful protesters at the Lekki tollgate venue.

African countries have a long history of protests and demonstrations against forces of oppression and this has been represented significantly in cinema. This list, while not an exhaustive one, attempts to contextualize this rich cinematic history, tracing the complex and diverse ways that protest culture have been reflected in African film. From influential classics that are now considered required viewing to fascinating portraits of individual resistance, these films are proof that the struggle continues, regardless.

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