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Listen to Les Amazones d'Afrique's New Single 'Amazones Power'

17 voices from across West Africa and beyond sing together against gender inequality.

Les Amazones d'Afrique is an all-female West African collective who released the moving and socially-charged record, République Amazon, a couple of years ago.

The group's rotating roster currently includes Malian veteran singer Mamani Keita, Cameroonian artist Patricia Essong, Guinea's Niariu, Cote d'Ivoire afropop singer Kandy Guira, Benin's Fafa Ruffino, and Congolese artist Abby Surya, among others. In the past Angélique Kidjo and Mariam Doumbia (of Amadou & Mariam) have joined them.

Les Amazones D'Afrique is now returning with a new single "Amazones Power," which sees the West African singers joined by voices from across Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Colombia, Guyana, Spain and Algeria to sing together against gender inequality.


The new single presents a clear message that violence must stop against women and that women shouldn't be held back by patriarchal norms. "Never again, silence, violence. I want to live and to be free," the group sings, "Mama, marry the one you like. And finally, be happy."

"Les Amazones d'Afrique got together in Les Studios de la Seine in March [with] some familiar faces, and many new voices," a spokesperson for Les Amazones d'Afrique tells OkayAfrica. "There was so much good will and creative energy. We had a wonderful couple of days of creating the new single and uniting for a common cause. The spirit of the recording session is captured in this new video. We are excited to bring our message, our fierce enthusiasm and brand new music to live audiences across Europe throughout the summer."

"Amazones Power" is the lead single from the upcoming Les Amazones d'Afrique album due this autumn.

Listen to our premiere of the new single below.

Les Amazones d'Afrique - Amazones Power (Official Video) - YouTube www.youtube.com

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(Youtube)

7 Gengetone Acts You Need to Check Out

The streets speak gengetone: Kenya's gengetone sound is reverberating across East Africa and the world, get to know its main purveyors.

Sailors' "Wamlambez!"Wamlambez!" which roughly translates to "those who lick," is the cry the reverberated round the world, pushing the gengetone sound to the global stage. The response "wamnyonyez" roughly translates to "those who suck" and that should tell you all you need to know about the genre.

Known for its lewd lyrics and repetitive (often call and response) hooks, gengetone makes no apologies for belonging to the streets. First of all, most artists that create gengetone are grouped into bands with a few outliers like Zzero Sufuri riding solo. The songs themselves often feature a multiplicity of voices with screams and crowds coming through as ad libs, adding to this idea that this is definitely "outside" music.

Listening to Odi wa Muranga play with his vocal on the track "Thao" it's easy to think that this is the first, but gengetone fits snuggly in a history of sheng rap based on the kapuka style beat. Kapuka is onomatopoeically named, the beats have that repetitive drum-hat-drum skip that sounds like pu-ka-pu-ka-pu. Artists like Nonini were asking women to come over using this riff long before Ochungulo family told them to stay home if they aren't willing to give it up.

Here's seven gengetone groups worth listening to.

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