News Brief
Mishaal Gangaram.

Album cover art for "The Alchemy of Living".

Keenan Meyer's Debut Track 'Komani' is Nostalgia Personified

South African pianist, Keenan Meyer, makes his professional music debut with 'Komani' featuring Tshepo Tsotetsi, ahead of the release of his debut 'The Alchemy of Living' album.

South African pianist and independent artist, Keenan Meyer, has recently released his debut track "Komani" featuring saxophonist Tshepo Tsotetsi. The track appears on his upcoming debut album titled The Alchemy of Living, a 12-track project, which features fellow artists Sthembiso Bhengu, Keorapetse Kolwane as well as talented South African jazz musician, Zoë Modiga. Impressively, the inimitable Grammy award-winning American producer, Qmillion, is behind the mixing and mastering of this musical offering.


READ: In Conversation with Mandla Mlangeni: 'Jazz music was also considered pop music at some time. It was music for the youth.'

The 25-year-old pianist certainly hits the ground running with this first release. Produced by Banda Banda, "Komani" is a musical journey, quite literally, that begins with what feels like a farewell before one embarks on a long journey. The song then gradually builds to an explosion of sound — replete with percussion, drums, the saxophone and of course, the piano — as one now excitedly embraces the destination ahead.

There is a distinct feeling of nostalgia in the rich soundscape of "Komani". Admittedly, one can't help but feel transported to a place one may not even know but nonetheless, still appreciates. Meyer indeed stands on the shoulders of giants with jazz veteran greats including the late Hugh Masekela and Jonas Gwangwa, pianist and composer, Abdullah Ibrahim, in addition to younger contemporaries such as Modiga and Mandla Mlangeni, among several others.

Describing the inspiration for his debut track, Meyer says:

"Komani, or Queenstown as it was formerly known is home to my maternal ancestors - the Redcliffe clan. Traveling to the small Eastern Cape town during the school holidays was one of the many highlights of my childhood. We would travel by bus or the Shosholoza Meyl sleeper train and be greeted by family members waiting for us on our arrival. Back then I didn't realise how seminal these journeys and visits would be on my own story and to honour the roots of where I come from, Komani is a love song to the maternal love that has raised me."

The album is currently available for pre-order here.

Listen to "Komani" on Spotify:

Listen to "Komani" on Apple Music:

Interview

Kofi Jamar Switches Lanes In 'Appetite for Destruction'

The Ghanaian rapper and "Ekorso" hitmaker presents a different sound in his latest EP.

The drill scene in Ghana has been making waves across the continent for some time now. If you're hip to what a crop of young and hungry artists from the city of Kumasi in Ghana and beyond have been doing over the past year, then you already know about rapper Kofi Jamar.

Towards the end of November last year he dropped one of the biggest drill songs to emerge from Ghana's buzzing drill scene, the popular street anthem "Ekorso." In the December and January that followed, "Ekorso" was the song on everyone's lips, the hip-hop song that took over the season, with even the likes of Wizkid spotted vibing to the tune.

Currently sitting at over 10 million streams across digital streaming platforms, the song topped charts, even breaking records in the process. "Ekorso" maintained the number one spot on Apple Music's Hip-Hop/Rap: Ghana chart for two months uninterrupted, a first in the history of the chart. It also had a good stint at number one of the Ghana Top 100 chart as well, among several other accolades.

Even though he's the creator of what could be the biggest song of Ghana's drill movement till date, Kofi Jamar doesn't plan on replicating his past music or his past moves. He has just issued his second EP, a 6-track project titled Appetite for Destruction, and it would surprise you to know that there isn't a single drill song on it. Although drill played a huge role in his meteoric rise, he wants to be known as way more than just a drill rapper. He wants to be known as a complete and versatile artist, unafraid to engage in any genre — and he even looks forward to creating his own genre of music during the course of his career.

We spoke to Kofi Jamar about his latest EP, and he tells us about working with Teni, why he's gravitating away from drill to a new sound, and more. Check out our conversation below.

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