Popular
Still from YouTube

Angelique Kidjo Joins Yemi Alade In the Vibrant Music Video for 'Shekere'

The song is a collaboration from Yemi Alade's latest album "Woman of Steel."

Yemi Alade and legendary Beninese singer Angelique Kidjo connect for the vibrant music video for "Shekere," their memorable collaboration which appears on Alade's latest album, Woman of Steel.

The song is named after the tambourine-like instrument played in various regions of the continent. Both Alade and Kidjo deliver feel-good lyrics in English and Yoruba over the song's string-filled production. The upbeat song also includes interpolations of Kidjo's 1996 classic "Wombo Lombo," as noted in Pulse Nigeria.


The music video is a colorful celebration of the continent that opens with a shot of Maasai warriors. The Ovie Etseyatse-directed song sees the artists highlighting various African cultures through dance and dress. Alade can be seen in various beaded looks and ankara prints, while Kidjo dons an eye-catching Zulu headdress.

Kidjo won her fourth Grammy last month, during which she gave an acceptance speech about the importance of supporting the new generation of artists emerging from the continent. "The new generation of artists coming from Africa are going to take you by storm and the time has come," said the artist.

Alade's previous video for "Remind You" featured star Beninese actor Djimoun Hounsou. She dropped Woman of Steel in August of last year, and hailed Kidjo as one of her biggest musical inspirations in an interview with OkayAfrica, also adding that "Shekere" had been two years in the making. "It's my favorite because I finally got to work with someone that inspired me while growing up and still inspires me, and is still achieving heights that I want to achieve as an African woman," said Alade.

Check out the music video for "Shakara" below.

youtu.be

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.