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Video: Laura Mvula 'That's Alright'

British musician Laura Mvula's track 'That's Alright' affirms black beauty and individuality, watch the video here.


As predicted, Laura Mvula is doing big, wonderful things. She's Pride magazine's April covergirl, tickets for much of her European tour have sold out and her album 'Sing to the Moon' peaked at 9 on the UK charts. After some technical hitches, her slick, haute couture video for 'That's Alright' just dropped and it's a brilliant visualization of the song's defiant message. Over the spare warring drums she comes in with her rebuttal of social expectations and mainstream beauty ideals: "I will never be what you want and that's alright; coz my skin ain't light, and my body ain't tight, and that's alright."

With those words she places herself in the company of young black artists asserting that mainstream norms can't hold them and reflecting that stance in their unique sounds and visuals. From Azealia Banks spitting 'You know that I be on my black girl shit’ to Janelle Monaé broadening the idea of what it means to be a black woman in the music biz, Laura Mvula challenges our expectations and stereotypes to a fight demanding: ‘well who made you the centre of the universe?’

Watch below and don't stop watching. And if you're based in New York, come dance with us at Mvula's April 23rd show at Mercury Lounge.

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Interview
Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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