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 AYLØ.

Interview: AYLØ Bridges His Music & Universe In the 'Clairsentience' EP

The Nigerian artist talks about trusting your gut feelings, remedying imposter syndrome and why our identity is best rooted in who we are, rather than what we do.

AYLØ's evolution as an artist has led him to view sensitivity as a gift. As the alté soundscape in the Nigerian scene gains significant traction, his laser focus cuts through the tempting smokescreen of commercial success. AYLØ doesn't make music out of need or habit. It all boils down to the power of feeling. "I know how I can inspire people when I make music, and how music inspires me. Now it's more about the message."

Clairsentience, the title of the Nigerian artist's latest EP, is simply defined as the ability to perceive things clearly. A clairsentient person perceives the world through their emotions. Contrary to popular belief, clairsentience isn't a paranormal sixth sense reserved for the chosen few, our inner child reveals that it's an innate faculty that lives within us before the world told us who to be.

Born in 1994 in Benin City, Nigeria, AYLØ knew he wanted to be a musician since he was six-years-old. Raised against the colorful backdrop of his dad's jazz records and the echoes of church choirs from his mother's vast gospel collections, making music isn't something anyone pushed him towards, it organically came to be. By revisiting his past to reconcile his promising future, he shares that, "Music is about your experiences. You have to live to write shit. Everything adds up to the music."

Our conversation emphasized the importance of trusting your gut feelings, how to remedy imposter syndrome and why our identity is best rooted in who we are, rather than what we do,

This interview has been edited for purposes of brevity and clarity.

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