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Photo: Ismael Kouyate/Youtube.

Watch Ismael Kouyate's New Video For 'Africa Love'

A slow-churning blend of Guinean grooves, hip-hop elements and Kouyate's unmistakeable vocal delivery.

Ismael "Bonfils" Kouyate comes through with the new music video for "Africa Love."

The Guinean-born perfomer, who was born to a long line of Griots in West Africa, initially made his name dancing for the likes of Les Ballets Africains, the national dance company of Guinea, and as the Master Choreographer for the Fela! musical, in which he also featured.

You may have also caught Kouyate's vocals in none-other-than the queen Beyonce's 2013 single "Grown Woman" (in the song's bridge).

Ismael Kouyate is now sharing the New York City-shot music video for "Africa Love," a slow-churning blend of Guinean grooves, hip-hop elements and the singer's unmistakeable vocal delivery.


Check out the Shawn Beasley-directed video for "Africa Love below and catch Ismael Kouyate performing with this band, Waraba, or his West African dance company, African Soul International.

"Africa Love" by Ismael "Bonfils" Kouyate feat. Asante directed by Shawn Beasley youtu.be

Interview
Photo: Shawn Theodore via Schure Media Group/Roc Nation

Interview: Buju Banton Is a Lyrical Purveyor of African Truth

A candid conversation with the Jamaican icon about his new album, Upside Down 2020, his influence on afrobeats, and the new generation of dancehall.

Devout fans of reggae music have been longing for new musical offerings from Mark Anthony Myrie, widely-known as the iconic reggae superstar Buju Banton. A shining son of Jamaican soil, with humble beginnings as one of 15 siblings in the close-knit community of Salt Lane, Kingston, the 46-year-old musician is now a legend in his own right.

Buju Banton has 12 albums under his belt, one Grammy Award win for Best Reggae Album, numerous classic hits and a 30-year domination of the industry. His larger-than-life persona, however, is more than just the string of accolades that follow in the shadows of his career. It is his dutiful, authentic style of Caribbean storytelling that has captured the minds and hearts of those who have joined him on this long career ride.

The current socio-economic climate of uncertainty that the COVID-19 pandemic has thrusted onto the world, coupled with the intensified fight against racism throughout the diaspora, have taken centre stage within the last few months. Indubitably, this makes Buju—and by extension, his new album—a timely and familiar voice of reason in a revolution that has called for creative evolution.

With his highly-anticipated album, Upside Down 2020, the stage is set for Gargamel. The title of this latest discography feels nothing short of serendipitous, and with tracks such as "Memories" featuring John Legend and the follow-up dancehall single "Blessed," it's clear that this latest body of work is a rare gem that speaks truth to vision and celebrates our polylithic African heritage in its rich fullness and complexities.

Having had an exclusive listen to some other tracks on the album back in April, our candid one-on-one conversation with Buju Banton journeys through his inspiration, collaboration and direction for Upside Down 2020, African cultural linkages and the next generational wave of dancehall and reggae.

This interview has been shortened and edited for clarity.

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