Audio

From The Vaults: 1970s Zambian Fuzz from Amanaz

This month's "from the vaults" column highlights Zambian music.


From The Vaults is a new column that digs up vintage African releases we feel deserve another spin. In the first installment, we highlight the psychedelic rock of Zambia's Amanaz.

"Zam-Rock" emerged in 1970s Zambian music scene out of the dual influence of Jimi Hendrix's acid guitar and James Brown's funk. Africa, the only release from Kitwe five-piece group Amanaz, is one of the highlights of this short-lived scene. Amanaz' psychedelic tracks are built around fuzz guitars riffs and lead-singer Keith Kabwe's baritone vocals. The lyrics — sung in both Bemba and English — as well as the music showcase remnants of a post-colonial Western influence that Zam-Rock groups like Amanaz would mold into their own sound. Stream the album's lead track "Africa," acoustic ballad "Khala My Friend," and "History of Man" below. Dig Zambian music? Grab the Africa reissue from Stones Throw.

Amanaz "Africa"

Amanaz "Khala My Friend"

Amanaz "History of Man"

Interview
Image courtesy of Killbeatz.

Interview: Killbeatz' Short & Sweet Debut EP, 'Love and Happiness'

We speak to the renowned afrobeats producer about his joint Love and Happiness EP with King Promise & Ofori Amponsah, and his daughter's inspiration behind the project.

Killbeatz needs no introduction. The producer born Joseph Addison is one of the biggest hitmakers as far as afrobeats is concerned. From R2Bees to Sarkodie to FuseODG to M.anifest, Killbeatz has blessed your favorite singers and rappers alike with the soundtracks to their biggest hits. From the azonto era to the global spread of afrobeats, his contribution to African music as a whole cannot be overstated.

However, Killbeatz' influence doesn't stop at just music production. Behind the scenes, he's a complete industry player. The CEO of Ghanaian record label Legacy Life Entertainment, he's responsible for bringing star singer King Promise to the limelight.

Despite producing for the crème de la crème of the Ghanaian music industry as well as several international artists over the length of a decade, the highly-influential producer and instrumentalist never had a project of his own. Now he has set out to change that. In October 2020 Killbeatz dropped his debut EP, titled Love and Happiness.

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