Popular
Mankind. Photo by CJ Pixels.

This Is What the First Edition of the 'Hand-Forged in Kenya' Music Series Looked Like

'Hand-Forged in Kenya' kicked off to an epic start in Nairobi.

OkayAfrica, Bateleur Brewery and The Alchemist Bar joined forces to launch a new live music series, Hand-Forged in Kenya, that is focused on showcasing rising Kenyan talent to fans both locally and globally.

The first edition took place on Saturday, April 6, at The Alchemist Bar in Nairobi and it was a night to remember. Nairobians showed up in the hundreds to support their local talent and it was a beautiful scene to witness.


Songstress Ru.BY kicked off the night, which was curated by our Nairobi-based contributor Camille Storm, with an incredibly lively performance that included throwback Kenyan classics as well songs from her latest Hey There EP. Her captivating stage presence had many rushing to the dance floor in no time and she set the pace for the rest of the night.

Fox Elijah and his band, BLK GLD RPLK, later enthralled the audience with a mind-blowing hip-hop-meets-reggae fusion set. Alternative-pop duo Mankind shut the house down when they performed their hit single "Take and Go" for fans that had been yearning to see the duo play live for the first time.

It was difficult to leave the dance floor once Mix Master Lenny took over the decks—and he kept the party going 'til the early morning. What an epic start to what is looking to be a very exciting music series. All video and photography by Craig Mumo Kilili (CJ Pixels).

Check out how it all went down in the clip below!


Ru.BY. Photo by CJ Pixels.

Ru.BY. Photo by CJ Pixels.

Fox Elijah. Photo by CJ Pixels.

Fox Elijah. Photo by CJ Pixels.

Mankind. Photo by CJ Pixels.

Mankind. Photo by CJ Pixels.

Mankind. Photo by CJ Pixels.

Interview
Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.