Popular
Still taken from YouTube.

James BKS Drops New Single 'No Unga Bunga' & Accompanying Visuals

James BKS Drops New Single 'No Unga Bunga' & Accompanying Visuals

French-born Cameroonian producer James BKS drops 'No Unga Bunga' and its music video. The new track, featuring The New Breed Gang, pays homage to the artist's late father and legendary musician, Manu Dibango.

French-born Cameroonian producer James BKS has recently released his latest single titled, "No Unga Bunga" as well as the accompanying music video. This is the artist's third track to be released under Idris Elba's record label, 7 Wallace, following the debut 2018 number, "Kwele". "No Unga Bunga", which features The New Breed Gang, also pays homage to the legacy of the artist's late father and legendary musician, Manu Dibango. The track is the official follow-up to "New Breed" which dropped last year and featured Q-Tip, Elba and Little Simz.

READ: 10 Essential Manu Dibango Songs

"No Unga Bunga" is a vibrant song with both an upbeat and infectious rhythm. The soundscape, whose instrumentals are insanely synergistic, is signature to the artist's style which fuses Afropop with hip-hop and dance. During a time when the world is reeling from the effects of the continued COVID-19 pandemic, "No Unga Bunga" is uplifting and in some way, signals the dawn of a new day. Additionally, the song samples the seminal 1998 track "Dust a Sound Boy" by reggae artist, Super Beagle. American rapper Kanye West has also sampled the same track in the past on his 2012 number "Mercy" featuring Big Sean, Pusha T and 2 Chainz.

The music video for "No Unga Bunga" is in perfect alignment with the feel of the track. The visuals are bold and tell the story of a musical revolution. And as the leader of this revolution, James BKS is aptly dressed in military fatigues and combat boots. The scenes transition from strong choreographed sequences to a shot of the artist wearing a neckpiece with an image of his late father playing the saxophone. The high production quality of the visuals, which were directed by Mahine Sef, make for an enviably crisp music video.

Speaking about the song to OkayAfrica, James BKS says the following:

"The song is about empowerement and heritage, being confident enough in yourself to believe that when something is meant to be yours it will be, no matter what people do or say to prevent it. You should always have faith in you and let skepticals think you're a fool. This song is a reminder to myself that I embrace my path, my late father was a legend and he showed me the way for me to create my own lane."

Watch the music video for "No Unga Bunga" below:

James BKS - No Unga Bunga (Official Music Video) www.youtube.com


Listen to "No Unga Bunga" on Apple Music:

Listen to "No Unga Bunga" on Spotify:

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.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

How Nigerian Streetwear Brand, Daltimore, is Rising To Celebrity Status

We spoke with founder and creative director David Omigie about expression through clothing and that #BBNaija pic.