Audio

Sona's Owambe Party Video For 'Ijo Sona'

Nigeria/UK's Sona releases the Owambe party video for his dance anthem 'Ijo Sona.'


Less than a month after making his debut with “No Wahala” (now at 100k+ views), UK/Nigeria's Sona has a new video for his single "Ijo Sona." Quickly rising with infectious beats and catchy lyrics in tow, the London-based performer cites both Sir Shina Peters and Wande Coal as some of his musical inspirations, and it shows in his propensity to reinterpret old-school rhythms with a modern twist. For his latest, produced by O.Y Beatz, Sona showcases his timeless aesthetic in the "Ijo Sona" video. Straying away from the Bugatti-filled, hyperbolically-extravagent party life music video status quo, the Alexx Adjei-directed video instead recreates the owambe party memories of his childhood. Look out for shots flashing between classic owambe-party scenes, elaborate head-dresses, and long lines for spicy jollof rice and stew as Sona shows off how to get down Nigerian style. Watch"Ijo Sona" below and download the track here.

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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