Audio

Sidi Touré 'Alafia'

Sidi Touré 'Alafia' is the latest from the Malian bluesman, out 9/17 via Thrill Jockey.

Sidi-Touré-Alafia

Sidi Touré's latest full length, Alafia, serves as the latest case study of how the segregation of a "world music" genre has been rendered increasingly irrelevant in today's music climate. In its place has emerged a globalization of earbuds with implications to be found in the rise of Alafia's creator. Touré is, after all, a Malian bluesman beloved for well-deserved reasons by the likes of Vincent Moon's Take Away Show circles and signed to a Chicago-based indie label. It's even worth making the case that the eclectic strings and pedals of Tokyo-based labelmate Dustin Wong loop with traces of Touré's guitar.


On his third international release Touré invites listeners into a peaceful state of mind, via meditative melodies and pick-induced rhythms. While at many times it's impossible to avoid the desire to dance, Alafia occasionally subdues into a a Songhaï folk fit for the tropics, most notably on "L'eau: The Water." Across the album's tracks, a panic-speed guitar and chants result in a total zone of tranquility. There is beauty to be found in Touré's rhythmic complexity, a peacefulness born out of chaos. Alafia is out now via Thrill Jockey. Watch the video for opening track "Ay Hora" and check out Touré's upcoming dates below.

Sidi Touré Tour Dates

Sep 19 - Grounds For Thought, Bowling Green, OH

Sep 20 - Cat in the Cream Coffeehouse, Oberlin, OH

Sep 21 - Thunderbird, Pittsburgh, PA

Sep 27 - Highline Ballroom, New York, NY

Sep 28 - Dome Theater, Arlington, VA

Oct 1 - The Center at Eagle Hill, Hardwick, MA

Oct 4 - Saint Anselm College, Dana Center, Manchester, NH

Oct 5 - BAM Café, Brooklyn, NY

Oct 6 - Crossroads, Philadelphia, PA

Oct 10 - Grand Park (Daniel Pearl World Music Days), Los Angeles, CA

Oct 12 + 13 - Shakori Hills Festival, Pittsboro, NC

Oct 19 - Rasa, Utrecht, Netherlands

Oct 24 - WOMEX, Cardiff, UK

Oct 25 - The Lexington, London, UK

Interview
Photo by Trevor Stuurman.

Interview: Thando Hopa Never Anticipated Acceptance in the Industry—She Anticipated a Fight

We speak to the South African lawyer, model, actress and activist about her historic Vogue cover, stereotypes imposed on people living with albinism and her work with human interest stories about vulnerable groups as a WEF fellow.

Vogue Portugal's April edition was a moment that caused everyone to hold their breath collectively. For the first time ever, a woman living with albinism was featured on the cover of the magazine in a sublime and timeless manner. Thando Hopa, a South African lawyer, model, actress and activist was the woman behind this historic first. It was not just a personal win for Hopa, but a victory for a community that continues to be underrepresented, stigmatised and even harmed for a condition outside of their control, particularly in Africa.

At just 31, the multi-hyphenate Hopa is a force to be reckoned with across different spaces. Through her considerable advocacy work as an activist, Hopa has and continues to dispel stereotypes and misconceptions about people living with albinism as well as changing what complex representation looks like within mainstream media. In 2018, Hopa was named the one of the world's 100 most influential women by the BBC. After hanging up her gown as a legal prosecutor after four years of working with victims of sexual assault, Hopa is on a mission to change skewed perceptions and prejudices when it comes to standards of beauty.

As a current fellow at the World Economic Forum, she is also working towards changing editorial oversights that occur when depicting historically underrepresented and vulnerable groups. The fellowship programme prepares individuals for leadership in both public and private sectors, and to work across all spheres of global society.

OkayAfrica recently spoke to Hopa to find out about how it felt to be the first woman with albinism to be featured on Vogue, the current projects she's working on and what's in the pipeline for her.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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