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Sauti Sol Celebrate 'Melanin' In Their Stunning New Video With Patoranking

Kenyan afro-pop stars Sauti Sol team up with Patoranking to give us "Melanin," the lead single from their forthcoming LP.

Kenyan afro-pop band Sauti Sol are turning up the heat with the announcement and release of the debut single from their forthcoming collaboration album, Afrikan Sauce.

For its first single, the boys of Sauti Sol team up with popular Nigerian artist Patoranking to give us "Melanin," a song celebrating women of color. With a blend of their prevailing afro-pop style and Patoranking's dancehall-like delivery, this collaboration proves to be sensational.

Accompanying the single is a brand new music video which was shot and directed by Clarence Peters in Lagos. The colorful and tropical video features many shots of stunning dark skin women along with vibrant dance and performance scenes.

The Afrikan Sauce LP will be a continuation of their successful third album, Live and Die in Afrika, which was released in 2015. The band is calling the project an "art and cultural exchange," which will feature collaborations with big names from across Africa. They also announced plans to drop a new collaborative track off the new album each month for the next twelve months.

Seeing as the new single is already a banger, we can't wait to see what else is in store from the band.

Check out "Melanin" below.

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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