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Here's Some Vintage Sudanese Jazz From The Scorpions & Saif Abu Bakr

We premiere "Nile Waves" from the first official reissue of their 1980s album Jazz, Jazz, Jazz.

The Scorpions & Saif Abu Bakr's long-forgotten album, Jazz, Jazz, Jazz, is credited as being one of the key releases from Sudan's jazz scene.

Recorded in 1980s Kuwait, the rare 10-track album showcases a unique fusion of styles and is now getting it's first official reissue from Habibi Funk.

"The music is a unique combination of incredible horn arrangements powerfully performed, a vigorous drummer contributing a funky backbone and Saif uniting those elements," Habibi Funk label owner Jannis Stuertz tells OkayAfrica. "The results range from instrumental tracks awaking memories of 1970s crime thriller soundtracks to more Sudanese-rooted tracks, a lot of them modernized versions of traditional tribal rhythms and even an excursion into Soukouss."

Today we're premiering the new single from the album, "Nile Waves," an instrumental, funk-infused track that will have your head-nodding.

Below, Stuertz gives us a bit more background on this release.

"I heard about Seif Abu Bakr and The Scorpions for the first time maybe 3-4 years ago. Their album Jazz, Jazz Jazz ended up on my radar because of an eBay auction; it might have been the first auction for this particular album on the platform. While the bids kept on rising daily up to a staggering $1000, if I recall correctly, I was intrigued about the snippet preview bits of the music on this album as well as by the impressive artwork."

"I remember I did some quick research in the aftermath of the auction (which I obviously did not win) to gather some information about the band but apart from some vague bits and pieces I could not find anything. In most encyclopedic overviews of the Sudanese music scene of the 1970s the band appeared as a mere footnote. How come? I really do not know."

"While all of our reissues so far have been compilations in the sense that we put together our favorite selection of tracks by one artist, this album will be our first 1:1 re-release, simply because the quality of the albums does not fall off on a single track. With its eclectic influences it birthed a one-of-a-kind new mixture and serves as a blueprint for what we are looking for when we release music on Habibi Funk."

Pre-order Jazz, Jazz, Jazz here now.

Interview

A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

We talk to the Nigerian stars about the hardest lessons they've learned, best advice they've ever been given and what Nigeria means to them.

Olamide and Fireboy DML have been working together for three years, but the first time they sit down to do an interview together is hours after they arrive in New York City on a promo tour.

It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

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