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Listen to Sauti Sol's New Album 'Midnight Train'.

Listen to Sauti Sol's New Album 'Midnight Train'

The 13-track project by Kenyan Afro-pop sensation Sauti Sol is a vibrant and uplifting gem featuring India Arie, Sho Madjozi, Black Motion and more.

Kenyan Afro-pop sensation Sauti Sol recently released their highly-anticipated album Midnight Train. The 13-tack project features the likes of India Arie, Soweto Gospel Choir, Sho Madjozi and Black Motion. The album is a follow-up to their 2019 album Afrikan Sauce which featured collaborations with Tiwa Savage, Burna Boy, Vanessa Mdee, Nyashinski and several others.


"Midnight Train", the first track on the album, is a mid-tempo number which samples of Toto's 1982 track "Africa". "Brighter Days", which features the talented and prolific Soweto Gospel Choir, was the first track to drop in the run-up to releasing the full album. It's an uplifting song both in its musicality and lyricism. "My Everything" is a slower paced romantic jam which features India Arie, a musician who has not only inspired but influenced Sauti Sol. "Suzanna" is a an upbeat and cheeky number that is a sure-fire standout track on the album. "Disco Matanga (Yambakhana)" featuring Sho Madjozi and Black Motion was featured as the soundtrack to Netflix's Queen Sono.

Speaking to OkayAfrica about the inspiration behind their music, Polycarp Otieno says, "Our inspiration comes from where we're at in our lives and what we go through as human beings, as men, as husbands to our wives, as friends. It's about writing stories that relate with other people and things people would not normally speak about in song. We try to put that in song."

Midnight Train is the group's first album with Universal Music Africa after signing a major deal with them earlier this year.

Listen to Midnight Train on Apple Music:

Listen to Midnight Train on Spotify:

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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