Events

Major Lazer, Sean Paul, Ibeyi, Mayra Andrade & More Are Playing Cuba’s Biggest Music Festival

The Musicabana Festival will mark Cuba’s biggest music gathering in over 30 years.

Ibeyi photographed by Oluwaseye.


This May, Havana will be hosting Cuba’s biggest music gathering in over 30 years, the Musicabana Festival—the first festival produced by American and Cuban partners since diplomatic relations were restored last year.

Okayafrica and Okayplayer are proud media sponsors of the festival.

The impressive Musicabana artist line-up includes performances from Major Lazer, Sean Paul, Ibeyi and Mayra Andrade, who will be joined by Cuban acts Pablo Milanés, Carlos Varela, Los Van Van, Orquesta Aragón, and many more.

Musicabana will be entirely free to the Cuban public, with special travel packages and VIP tickets available for international visitors.

Major Lazer, the dancehall-inspired crew of Diplo, Walshy Fire and Jillionaire, will be the first major US act to perform in Cuba since diplomatic ties were restored.

“For as long as I can remember, Cuba has played an influential role on my love of music—Cuba has such a powerful cultural impact all over the world and for me, especially growing up in Florida, it became one of the biggest cultural centers for music to evolve from,” mentions Diplo.

Find out more information about tickets and passes at Musicabana’s website. The festival takes place May 5—May 8.

Image via Musicabana's Facebook.

Interview

Malian Rapper Ami Yerewolo Rises Against All Odds

Ami Yerewolo reflects on her hard-won rap career, new album AY and why she insists on creating support spaces for young female rappers in Mali and beyond.

"No one is a prophet in his or her own land!" This is an accurate way to describe Ami Yerewolo's career to a tee. The Malian rapper's music has not always been popular in her home country, where female rappers are generally frowned upon. Instead, it has taken off abroad. Yerewolo's upbeat sound mixes traditional Malian elements with fast drums, contemporary beats and significant lyrics that compel listeners to reflect on life — all of which makes her songs carry a universal appeal. Her new album, AY (titled after the rapper's initials) has just been released by the label Othentiq.

Yerewolo shares her frank thoughts below...

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