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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

 

Video
Photo: James Kwan.

Watch Lady Moon & The Eclipse's New Video For 'Global Warning'

Just in time for Earth Day.

Brooklyn-based outfit Lady Moon & The Eclipse, who we've previously covered for their blend of R&B; and afrobeat, are back with the new single, "Global Warning."

The song and music video, which we're premiering today for Earth Day, is a head-nodder anchored by a heavy funk bass line and led by vocalist Lady Moon's (Ngonda Badila) lyrics about our drastically changing environment.

The new video for "Global Warning," directed by James Kwan, is a shape-shifting affair that cycles through colorful animated drawings and collage-like scenes of Lady Moon dancing in front of different habitats.

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News Brief

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The outspoken artist, activist and legislator was detained Monday after police shut down a recent concert of his.

Ugandan police have arrested artist, activist and legislator Bobi Wine, AFP reports.

He was detained Monday after police shut down a recent concert, where they fired tear gas at his supporters and fans, according to his wife Barbie Itungo Kyagulanyi. "He has been arrested in Busabala, where he was to address the media on the cancellation of his concert by the police," she says to AFP.

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Audio

Listen to Larry Gaaga and Wizkid's New Single 'Low'

Plus, watch the track's new music video.

Larry Gaaga recruits Nigerian superstar Wizkid for his latest single, "Low."

The new song, which is produced by BlaqJerzee, pairs a sparse beat with smooth synth keys and Wizkid's delivery about keeping things "on the low."

It comes paired with a brand new music video, directed by Mr. Moe Musa, that shows Wizkid and Larry Gaaga in a pristine white room as they perform the song along with some company.

Larry Gaaga, the Nigerian music executive-turned-artist, has been churning out some hits and big time collaborations lately like the 2Baba-featuring "Iworiwo" and "Baba Nla," alongside Burna Boy, D'banj and 2Baba.

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