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JoeBoy Releases Long-Awaited Album 'Somewhere Between Beauty & Magic'

Joeboy Releases Long-Awaited Album 'Somewhere Between Beauty & Magic'

Nigerian artist Joeboy has released his debut album 'Somewhere Between Beauty & Magic' following his 2019 'Love & Light' EP.

Nigerian Afro-pop star Joeboy has released his long-awaited debut album Somewhere Between Beauty & Magic. The 14-track project is the official follow-up to the young artist's debut Love & Light EP which dropped in 2019. While no additional artists feature on the album, it is nonetheless an impressive body of work with several bangers to have stuck on repeat.

READ: Interview: Joeboy On What It Means to Be an African Popstar

After dropping "Celebration" and then "Lonely" towards the end of last year, both of which feature on this latest album, Joeboy has delivered a body of work that is testament to the ability of Mr Eazi's emPawa initiative to unearth musical gems.

Somewhere Between Beauty & Magic opens with "Count Me Out"—a definite standout track on the album. The track is an interesting mixture of a staple Afrobeat rhythm with classical instrumentals such as the violin. "Focus", on the other hand, is a vibrant and upbeat number with an infectious soundscape composed of steady drums and a playful wind instrument. Other tracks to earmark are "Lonely", "Oshe" and "Show Me."

Speaking to OkayAfrica about how he named his debut album, Joeboy says:

"You know the first project was Love and Light. I spoke with Oxygen Mix—my mixing engineer—about what we should name the next project. When we were in Ghana riding quad bikes somewhere, Oxygen was like this place is beautiful. "Let's call it somewhere between beauty and magic." Another reason why we settled on the name is because the album consists of songs that are about different parts of love. Love is beautiful. Love is magic. These were songs I made with those influences."

Listen to Somewhere Between Beauty & Magic on Apple Music:

Listen to Somewhere Between Beauty & Magic on Spotify:

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Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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