Events

Recap: United Sounds Of Africa


One often loses themselves in the vastness of Nigerian music. The dialects, the Pidgin, and the culture can be a bit overwhelming for non-Nigerians and some Nigerians alike. Perhaps the best way to venture into this new globally-embraced aesthetic is to sample of some of their best, or just most popular, music. The United Sounds of Africa (USA) tour was that opportunity to test out the flavors of the Afro Beat, Pop, and Hip Hop sounds of Nigeria.

The USA tour hit New York’s Irving Plaza on August 7, 2012 and was a great look into what so many Nigerians have invested so much pride in, and why they dominate in the African music movement at the moment. Despite some disorganization and a half-baked attempt to rival mainstream American hip hop's misogyny (two women were brought on stage and acted provacatively during Ice Prince’s set), the show pretty much delivered.

The variety of music from Afrobeat, to Afro Soul, to a strong influence of traditional African instruments encompassed by the opening acts was refreshing. The big names of the night, Jesse Jagz, Ice Prince, and of course Tuface (2Face), also delivered. Jesse Jagz’s incredible, raw energy married with this well-blended African and House-heavy production was a salty sweet treat. Ice Prince followed with a more polished, crowd interactive experience, shelling out the hits so many of his audience have sweated to in various African parties around the world.

Tuface, however, took the night. His live band, numerous hits, energy and sincerity came together to make a world class performance regardless of the thinning crowd that remained by the time he hit the stage so late into the night.

Above all, the evening was a wonderful excuse to network with like-minded young African people. Between each set, what could have been an annoyingly long break actually turned into that awesome moment when you realize the guy next to you is also a writer, designer, musician, or your next boyfriend. These types of events are the future of Afropolitan art, culture and community.

News Brief

Michael Kiwanuka Wins Highly Coveted 2020 Mercury Prize

The British-Ugandan artist proves that staying true to yourself will get you further than you can imagine.

British-Ugandan musician Michael Kiwanuka has gone on to win the 2020 Mercury Prize at this year's virtual awards ceremony.

The win was assigned to Kiwanuka's 2019 album KIWANUKA, produced by Danger Mouse and Inflo. KIWANUKA, Michael's third full-length so far, seems to be the artists' most personal one yet.

In his own words, Kiwanuka told New Statesman, "I thought, what better way to say that you're comfortable with who you are than by using just your name? KIWANUKA goes against fame, it goes against success. It's not in the pocket, it's not a smooth rock'n'roll name that's up in lights. It can be clumsy, if you haven't seen it before."

Well, we are certainly grateful for the singer's personal evolution as it has landed him top honors in the industry, as well as, amongst his die hard fans.

The artist said of his win, "I don't even know what to say - I'm speechless. This is amazing...I don't even have any words. This is ridiculous, it's crazy! I'm so happy. Third time's a charm. It's blown my mind. I'm over the moon, I'm so excited - this is for art, for music, for albums. This is the only thing I've ever wanted to do so to win a Mercury is a dream come true. I'm so happy. Music and art means so much to me and this is an award that celebrates that so I'm over the moon."

Watch Michael Kiwanuka's performance of "You Ain't The Problem" off of his Mercury Prize winning album "KIWANUKA" here.

Mercury Prize 2020 Winner | Michael Kiwanuka - You Ain't The Problem (Later... With Jools Holland) www.youtube.com

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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa Supports Removal of Apartheid Statues

This past Heritage Day, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that monuments 'glorifying' the country's 'divisive past' should be repositioned and relocated.