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Toumani Diabate

Listen to Toumani Diabaté's Neo-Classical Song 'Mamadou Kanda Keita'

The new single blends Diabaté's traditional Malian kora music with the classic sounds of the London Symphony Orchestra.

The legendary Malian composer Toumani Diabaté has released a new single "Mamadou Kanda Keita" with the London Symphony Orchestra. The song comes off his collaborative upcoming album Kôrôlén which is anticipated to drop this April. "Mamadou Kanda Keita" mixes Diabaté's traditional Malian kora music with the classic sounds of the London Symphony Orchestra. The song calls for a gentle ear to listen to it and unveils the forgotten common grounds for Africa's ancestral sounds.

The "Mamadou Kanda Keita" single has been described as meditative African music because of Diabaté's fine-tuned kora playing skills. The track features a vocal performance from the eminent Malian griot (poet or storyteller) Kasse Mady Diabaté and is an interpretation of "Mamadou Boutiquier," Diabaté 's Grammy-winning album with Ali Farka Touré.

Read: Ballaké Sissoko Speaks About US Customs Breaking His Kora

While most modern African music is known around the world today for fast beats and dance grooves, Diabaté reinvokes the gentle, mystical side of African & Malian music that is generally unheard in today's new musical sub-genres. The 55-year-old artist stated upon the release of the single that he wanted the world to "look at African music in a new way" whereby the ancient kora instrument and Western orchestra meet to create a sophisticated sound. The merging of Diabaté's traditional Malian music with classical musical reportedly began in 2008 in a live performance at the Barbican. The live recording of that performance resulted in "Mamadou Kanda Keita" and Kôrôlén.

The album name Kôrôlén is borrowed from the Mandinka language meaning "ancestral" and will be released through Diabaté's record label World Circuit Records on the 23rd of April.

Listen to "Mamadou Kana Keita" below.

Toumani Diabaté And The London Symphony Orchestra - Mamadou Kanda Keita (Official Video)


Sarkodie Is Not Feeling Any Pressure

The elite Ghanaian rapper affirms his king status with this seventh studio album, No Pressure.

Sarkodie is one of the most successful African rappers of all time. With over ten years of industry presence under his belt, there's no question about his prowess or skin in the game. Not only is he a pioneer of African hip-hop, he's also the most decorated African rapper, having received over 100 awards from close to 200 nominations over the span of his career.

What else does Sarkodie have to prove? For someone who has reached and stayed at the pinnacle of hip-hop for more than a decade, he's done it all. But despite that, he's still embracing new growth. One can tell just by listening to his latest album, No Pressure, Sarkodie's seventh studio album, and the follow-up to 2019's Black Love which brought us some of the Ghanaian star's best music so far. King Sark may be as big as it gets, but the scope of his music is still evolving.

Sonically, No Pressure is predominantly hip-hop, with the first ten tracks offering different blends of rap topped off with a handful of afrobeats and, finally, being crowned at the end with a gospel hip-hop cut featuring Ghanaian singer MOG. As far as the features go, Sark is known for collaborating mostly with his African peers but this time around he branches out further to feature a number of guests from around the world. Wale, Vic Mensa, and Giggs, the crème de la crème of rap in America and the UK respectively all make appearances, as well as Nigeria's Oxlade, South Africa's Cassper Nyovest, and his fellow Ghanaian artists Darkovibes and Kwesi Arthur.

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