Video
Sjava. Photo by Sabelo MKhabela.

Sjava, Saudi & Emtee Pay Homage To Their Humble Beginnings In The Video For ‘Abangani’

Sjava just released a new single and video titled 'Abangani.'

South African singer and rapper Sjava's fans have been hounding him for new music. The artist hasn't released a new song since appearing on the Black Panther Album earlier this year.

His latest single, titled "Abangani," features his label mates and frequent collaborators Saudi and Emtee, who are also the founders of ATM (African Trap Movement).

On the song, Sjava sends gratitude to his friends, who have saved and bailed him out many times. So do Saudi and Emtee.

Read: Sjava Says Future and Young Thug's Music Has Zulu Melodies, And He's Right

"Abangani" is a quintessential ATM song, it's inspirational and combines modern and South African traditional vocals styles.

In the song's video, Sjava spends time in a taxi rank, a place that he was familiar with growing up, as his mother used to sell food there. This is Sjava saying (without actually saying) that his life has come full circle. He is a successful artist with a gold-selling and critically acclaimed album, Isina Muva (2016), under his belt, but he will never forget where he comes from.

Some of the people who appear on the video speak on what type of person Sjava used to be while he still frequented the taxi rank. Heartwarming. <3

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.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

How Nigerian Streetwear Brand, Daltimore, is Rising To Celebrity Status

We spoke with founder and creative director David Omigie about expression through clothing and that #BBNaija pic.