Audio

Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars Celebrate 10 Years With 'Libation'

The fourth full length from Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars, 'Libation,' is due out March 18th (US) and April 21 (worldwide) via Cumbancha.


Photo by Kisha Bari

As Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars gear up for a world tour kicking off in April, next month the West African legends are set to release their fourth studio album. Libation, a celebration of the band's 10th year anniversary, features a heartwarming range of highlife and reggae-infused tracks with subtle echoes of Afro-Latin rhythms thrown into the mix. In the lead-up to the album's release, a preview stream has been made available (which you can sample below). Mellow acoustic vibes on "Rich But Poor" and playful instrumentation on "Ghana Baby" suggest signs of the All Stars exploring the full breadth of their warm and rounded sound. For now, grab a free download of hip-shaker "Gbaenyama" and stream a preview of the full release below. If you're in NYC look out for the group to join Malian songstress Fatoumata Diawara for Africa Now! at The Apollo Theatre on April 5th. Libation is out now in the US and April 21 worldwide via Cumbancha.

Interview
Photo: Nick Beeba

Interview: Sango's ‘Da Rocinha 4’ Is a Polished & Grinding Take On Baile Funk

We speak with the Seattle-based DJ and producer about his new album and the music bridges connecting Brazil, the US and the world.

It's a common joke in Brazil: once three or more Brazilian people gather together, they will start a WhatsApp group. The producer and DJ Kai Wright, who goes by the alias Sango, is well aware of that. While he is giving this interview through a Zoom call, a sound notification pops from his computer. "Do you hear that?" he says, amidst laughs. "It's WhatsApp, this album was made through WhatsApp groups."

Once and for all, Sango is not Brazilian. "I am an ambassador for that sound, but I am a Black American," he says. "That sound" is baile funk, the most prominent Brazilian electronic and popular music of the past decades. Born in Michigan and based in Seattle, Sango became a beacon for a new strain of baile funk around 2012, when he released the album Da Rocinha—a suite that he revisits in his new release, Da Rocinha 4.

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