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Naira Marley, Rema and Flavour Announced as Headliners for 2020 Gidi Culture Festival

Gidi Culture Festival announces Naira Marley, Rema and Flavour as headline acts for this year's edition of the largest music and arts festival in West Africa.

The 7th edition of the Gidi Culture Festival—the largest music and arts festival in West Africa—is set to take place this year from April 9th-11th.

Naira Marley, Rema and Flavour have recently been announced as the headline acts for what promises to be yet another epic instalment of the festival.


This year's theme is "Bringing it home" and is meant to celebrate the growing numbers of the diaspora returning to Lagos during the event. For the first time ever, the festival will run over several days and feature a different headline act each day.

Up-and-coming rapper Rema is set to kickoff the first day of the festival. While the promising young artist's track titled "Dumebi"was arguably the one of the most popular Afropop singles of 2019, it was his debut track "Iron man" that made it onto the Obamas' 2019 summer playlist.

Highlife king and Nigerian multi-instrumentalist, Flavour will be setting the tone for the second day of the festival. Known for his wildly successful track "Nwa Baby (Ashawo Remix)" and his fire collaborations with the likes of Yemi Alade, Phyno and Wizkid, this year's Gidi Culture Festival will give fans the rare opportunity to see Flavour performing live.

It's no surprise that Naira Marley has been selected as the headline act to wrap up the festival. The artist had a spectacular year in 2019 after he released several hit singles including his collaboration with Zlatan titled "I Am Yahoo Boy" which made it onto our Best Nigerian Songs of 2019 list. Additionally, his 6-track EP Lord of Lamba dropped towards the end of the year and got fans flooding social media with #TesumoleDance in response to one of the vibrant tracks on the EP titled "Tesumole".

You can purchase tickets for Gidi Culture Festival here.

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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