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Max Rambhojan album cover.

Here's Some 1980s Gwo-Ka & Zouk Music From Max Rambhojan

A re-issue of the massive hits from Guadeloupe.

Max Rambhojan's big record, "Tou't Jou Pa Min'm," reached its highest popularity during the 1986 World Cup, when its music video often played during half-time breaks on TV stations in the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe.

The highly-infectious song showcased a style known as 'Zouk Chiré,' an energetic and high-tempo version of Zouk music influenced by Guadeloupe's carnival drum bands.

Much more than a Zouk artist though, Rambhojan is a known as a master of Gwo-Ka, the Guadelopean folk music (and the names of the hand drums it's played with) which originated during the transatlantic slave trade in the 17th century.

Labels Secousse and Hot Mule Records are now reissuing four gems from Max Rambhojan's catalog, which we're premiering here today.


Max Rambhojan and his car. Image courtesy of Secousse.

"I was born in 1955 at Petit Bourg, Guadeloupe," Max Rambhojan writes to OkayAfrica. "I've been a Gwo-Ka musician all my life, I started as a kid with the legendary Guy Conquête who was hanging out all the time at my grandmother's house to try and seduce my auntie. He's the one who encouraged me to learn music."

"Later on I made 2 solo albums in 1985 and 1992 with the help of my friend and bandleader King Klero. This is where those 4 songs come from. In 1986, local TV channel RFO was playing 'Tou't Jou Pa Min'm' on repeat during half time breaks during the Football world cup. That's when I started being taken seriously as an artist. Those songs are still broadcasted to this day all over the French West Indies, and sometimes people tell me they heard them in nightclubs in France too."

"I still play the Gwo-Ka most week-ends in Guadeloupe, and I also host a radio show on Media Tropical Guadeloupe, 88.1FM. I hope you enjoy this music!"

Max Rambjhojan is available for pre-order and out February 18 from Secousse and Hot Mule Records.

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Runtown. Photo courtesy of the artist.

How Runtown Got His Groove Back

In the past year, Runtown has had to look behind him to shed the ghosts of his former label. Now he's looking forward to more success.

In May of 2018 with two months left on his contract, the Nigerian popstar Runtown woke up one morning to news that his record label, Eric Many Entertainment, was suing him for damages worth N267 million. A potential local court injunction against him meant Runtown might face the possibility of being barred from making music until the suit was resolved. It was the the start in of a string of legal battles between the singer and his label that threatened his very existence as an artist.

As Runtown planned his next steps, his boss, Ukwudili Umenyiora was doing everything he could not to let him go. The suit was a ploy to get him to extend the contract, or reach a settlement that would allow the label to keep a stake in his future business. In the press, Runtown was lambasted daily by suspected paid agents of the record label.

After the record label tried to prevent a performance in Canada, and sent cease and desist letters to radio stations, asking them to pull Runtown off playlists, something cracked in his camp. His legal team mobilised. They launched an offensive, filing cases and petitions on many fronts across Lagos, Abuja and New York. His boss and aggressor, Okwudili Umenyiora, was arrested twice by the local police on petitions by Runtown. To stop the media harassment, Umenyiora signed a legal agreement promising to back off. With the coast clear, he could then focus on the music.

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Video still via YouTube.

'Ratnik' Is the Dystopian Nollywood Action Film You Didn't Know You Needed

Watch the dramatic teaser from Nigerian filmmaker Dimeji Ajibola.

A film 2 years in the making is yet another cinematic moment contributing to the growing diversity of subgenres in the Nollywood industry.

Ratnik is a dystopian action film from Nigerian filmmaker Dimeji Ajibola his production company Flipsyde Studios. The teaser recently dropped this month ahead of the official trailer—and from this 1-minute clip we're anticipating suspense, explosions, peculiar superhero characters and impressive vfx that we're seeing more of in Nigerian films.

Get into the teaser below.

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Moonchild Sanelly. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Swiss Producer Dejot Enlists South African Leftfield Artists Moonchild Sanelly, Waterlillyrose, RADIO 123 and More in His New EP ‘Uhujano’

Listen to Dejot's latest EP.

Swiss electronic producer Dejot has a fondness for South African and its musicians. "What was really surprising to me was the fact, that when I played my music, my demos or ideas, people started to dance immediately," says Dejot in an email to OkayAfrica. "I was really surprised, that there was something in my music that hit them and made them move. This is very different compared to Europe or Switzerland, where people mostly stand around and just listen to it."

Last year, Dejot produced the rapper Robin Thirdfloor's EP Bhotela in its entirety. He has also worked with Bongeziwe Mabandla. This year, for his latest EP, Uhujano, he enlisted South Africa-based artists Moonchild Sanelly, Waterlillyrose, Robert Machiri and the duo RADIO 123.

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