News

NYC: Afrotainment Museke Online African Music Awards


This Saturday September 24th, the Afrotainment and Museke Inc. Online African Music Awards will take place at Afrotainment's New York studios. Don't sweat it if you're not in New York City because the awards show will be broadcast live on the Afrotainment channels 751 and 667 on the Dish Network in the US and online Here and Here.

Musicians performing at the show inlclude: Rwandan-born Iyadede, Viviane Ndour of Senegal, Ghana’s own highly acclaimed wordsmith Blitz the Ambassador, Afropean sisters Les Nubians and the increasingly popular Congolese star Fally Ipupa.

African music superstar from Benin, Angelique Kidjo, will receive a Lifetime Achievement award for being a role model and inspiration for African musicians everywhere.

These live performances are sure to rock NYC.

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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