News Brief

The Weeknd Enlists Daft Punk for the First Single Off His Amharic-Inspired Album

The Weeknd releases the title track from his forthcoming album "Starboy" featuring Daft Punk.

After announcing the -let's call it-"Wizkid-inspired" title of his forthcoming album, Starboy, Abel Tesfaye aka The Weeknd comes through with the release of the album’s title track, a jolting single that pairs Tesfaye's restrained vocals with air-tight electronic percussion courtesy of electronic music's most celebrated enigmas, Daft Punk.


The singer’s been noticeably more vocal about his Ethiopian heritage recently, and though the Amharic-influences aren’t totally obvious on “Starboy,” the singer’s recent comment about the language being key on his upcoming record, has us pretty eager to hear what else the album will have to offer.

We’ll have to wait till November 25 to hear the full project, but we’re counting on “Starboy” to hold us over till then. Preview the song below and stream the full track on Spotify and Apple Music.

Music
Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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