Konono N°1 & Batida's New Video Is A Hallucinatory Congotronics Party

Kinshasa-based band Konono N°1 and Angolan/Portuguese producer Batida share the music video for “Nlele Kalusimbiko.”

Konono N°1 & Batida. Photo by Vera Marmelo.

Kinshasa-based 'Congotronics' outfit Konono N°1 and Angolan/Portuguese producer Batida are readying the release of their 8-song collaborative album later this month.

“Nlele Kalusimbiko,” the album’s electric likembe single featuring Bissau-Guinean poet AF Diaphra and guitarist Papa Juju, is now getting a lively video treatment from director Catarina Limão.

“‘Nlele’ means an overcoat,” Konono leader Augustin Makuntima Mawangu tells Okayafrica. “In Northern countries, one needs to wear an overcoat in order not to be cold in the winter. What seems obvious to people on the North seems extraordinary to people in Central Africa... and vice versa!”

“‘Nlele" also refers to clothes in general. A man who dies leaves his clothes behind, as a legacy. He thinks: 'when I was alive, I used to wear this to go out and party, now my friends can remember me by looking at my clothes',” Mawangu adds.

The song’s new music video follows Konono N°1 and Batida as they play shows across the Portuguese cities of Lisbon and Coimbra. Director Limão explained her experiences shooting the video:

“It was intense, funny, joyful and familiar. Like being all together at a big family table, where we share the pleasure of having some food cooked with love that leaves us happy in the end. Love, smiles, dance, music and at the same time the travel. The travel of Konono N°1 to beautiful Lisbon to meet Batida and record this album and the travel of the music itself, that transports us to a place where images have rhythm and a kind of hallucinogenic effect.”

Watch the “Nlele Kalusimbiko” video below and pre-order Konono N°1 Meets Batidadue April 29 on Crammed Discs.

Catch Batida live on August 14 at Okayafrica's NYC SummerStage show alongside Mbongwana Star and Young Paris.

Photo: Courtesy of Saphir Niakadie

Meet Four Women Pushing Ivorian Art Forward Through Photography

These young and emerging female photographers from Côte d'Ivoire are shaking up Abidjan's art scene.

There's been a tremendous amount of awe-inspiring art coming from the African continent lately. Photography is no exception. It is one of the most powerful tools used in changing the way in which the West perceives Africa and its diaspora and perhaps the reason why contemporary photography is thriving.

The female gaze is paramount to the way in which the aforementioned visual stories are told and the female photographers here are using their camera lenses to give us glimpses of lands, peoples, histories, and futures unknown. Their individual experiences and perspectives are widening the scope of what is believed to be Côte d'Ivoire. Within the country's capital, Abidjan, there's a creative scene that seems to have sprawled up out of nowhere yet is so rich in its offerings.

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