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Angelique Kidjo Tells Apple Music About Finding Her Identity Through Black Music on The Message on Apple Music 1

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On a special Black Music Month episode of The Message on Apple Music 1, Grammy Award-winning Beninese superstar Angelique Kidjo joins Ebro Darden to discuss finding her identity through Black music, the importance of learning from each other’s stories, her educational foundation for African women, and more. The Message is a series that aims to further the dialogue about the unrest and inequalities in the United States and abroad via intimate conversations with some of the most prominent voices in Black music today, who also create exclusive playlists of the songs inspiring them to keep pushing forward.

Video and key quotes from the episode are below — feel free to use and credit Ebro Darden on Apple Music 1. Listen to the episode in-full HERE.

Video | Angelique Kidjo Tells Apple Music About Finding Her Identity Through Black Music on The Message on Apple Music 1
Watch: http://apple.co/Kidjo

Angelique Kidjo Tells Apple Music About Finding Her Identity Through Music…

“My identity as a Black person, being aware of what it is to be Black come from music. The first time I heard the word ‘slave descendant,’ it was when I heard my brother playing Jimi Hendrix…I was like, ‘By the way, who’s this guy? What language is he speaking in? He looks African to me.’ That’s when my brother said, ‘He’s African-American.’ I said, ‘Come on. How can you be African and American at the same time?’ I was nine years old. Then I learn and throughout the year, suddenly at 15, I heard about apartheid in South Africa.” Then, my world just collapsed.”

Angelique Kidjo Tells Apple Music About The importance of Learning From Other People’s Stories and History…

“We could have saved so much time, and be so much impactful if you have known each other’s story. I didn’t know anything really much deeply as I know now about the Civil Rights movement in America, until I arrived in America. And I can tell you that the youth in Africa still don’t know it. And for me, it’s urgent for us to learn our own history. Because if we don’t know it, we are still at danger of being fooled again.”

Angelique Kidjo Tells Apple Music About Collaborating With Burna Boy on “Do Yourself”…

“When I listened to the song, it was such a beautiful song that I was just thinking musically to accompany his voice and to be with him in song. So I sent the first version of the song, and then he said, ‘Ma, I need you more. I need your voice more.’ I send the second version. He said, ‘I need your voice more.’ And I said, ‘You want me to Angelique Kidjo the song?’ And he said, ‘Yeah.’ I said, ‘Okay, that’s what you’re going to get.’”

Angelique Kidjo Tells Apple Music About The Batonga Foundation…

“A mother pulled me aside and told me, ‘Angelique…if our girls finished primary education and they’re not in secondary education, they’re going to end up having the same fate we have. Being married early and bearing children at a very early age. And then the future is done. So what are we going to do about secondary education?’ It was not in the mandate at that time of the UN. So I take upon myself to create Batonga and I’ve seen many experts talk to many people. Everybody told me, ‘Angelique, this is just a dead end because the rate of dropout of girls in secondary education is too high. You’re going to fail.’ And I look at people, I say, ‘Well, if it’s easy, why bother?’”

Angelique Kidjo Shares Her Message…

“I grew up in a household where my dad and mom always used to say to us, ‘You cannot come back here and say you failed because you’re Black because that is something like that doesn’t exist. Success or failure has nothing to do with your skin color, is when you let people drag you into only reducing you to the skin color that you fail.’ I took that literally, and I hit the world stage. Every time they throw my skin color at me, I give them a big smile. I say, ‘Okay. Well, I’m Black. I’m proud of it. Can we have a conversation right now? Can we get to business?’”

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Larruso’s ‘’New Gen’’ EP arrives alongside all-new video for ‘Wolewa’ (Come Inside)’

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Afro-dancehall sensation, Larruso’s debut EP offers a feel-good experience that places him in the fore of Ghanaian dancehall music as he freewheels over a range of experimental melodies. Listen here: https://onerpm.lnk.to/NewGen-EP

 

Previewing with two singles prior to its official announcement ‘’New Gen’’ does not fall short of a smooth supply of tuneful beat selections and potential bangers. It is an aggregate of Larruso’s vision so far, meld together by familiar, yet refreshing concepts and a feature list accommodating of the young artist’s style.

 

 

The 8-track EP books features from the likes of the god MC, M.anifest, Suzzway, Nigeria’s very own, Bella Shmurda, Kelvyn Boy, Samini and J. Derobie, aside a compelling mix of producers which include The One, Beatz Dakay, Phantom, Jaemally, Gigz Beatz, Mix Master Garzy and Finchy.

 

For a project meant to inspire the prodigy’s avant-gardist role in his time, things are brought to a roaring start on the pre-released ‘New Gen’. Here, Larruso ushers in the age of this new generation he’s standing in for. ‘’We have a big dream and, how our family fit look past streets wey we dey pon?’’, he questions, backing up with chants and verses of empowerment. This invigorating theme persists into the EP’s first pre-released song ‘The Truth’ featuring the god MC, Manifest. On the soothing song, both artists free their energies into a pool of thoughts that are expressive of life in a country that grows increasingly hellish for the generation in question.

The tone of the EP hereafter shifts to a more ambient and easy-going sound ‘Body’ featuring Suzzway goes big on Larruso’s glossy vocals, while ‘Wolewa’ (Come Inside) featuring Nigeria’s very own, Bella Shmurda embraces a fun feel. The latter drops alongside a colorful video directed by Yaw Skyface and has lots of choreography to keep the song’s playfulness untouched. ‘Hit & Run’ isn’t far behind the explosive Afrobeat wave either, bearing the candid and fleeting emotions of the self-proclaimed nineties bad boy, before ushering in the project’s biggest in terms of collaborations ‘No Chance’.

Sweeping listeners back into his preferred domain ‘No Chance’ has Larruso tag Kelyvn Boy and Samini on the highly palatable Finchy production to make known their uncompromising nature to much finesse. ‘Addicted’ featuring J. Derobie slots in next to ferry listeners aboard the love express once more, yielding crooned verses of how special Larruso’s love interest is to him: ‘’Cause you know me and you have a different vibe/Make up your mind, come with me let’s ride’’. The finally EP comes to a soothing close thanks to Larruso’s resolute composure on solo effort ‘High Meditation’, in a bid to not to escape bad memories.

 

‘’New Gen’’ projects the Afro-dancehall star’s status as torchbearer in it’s entirety and is effortless in setting itself up as a benchmark for all dancehall EP’s to follow. Stream ‘’New Gen’’ by Larruso here:

 

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E.L’s ‘Superhero’ becomes most streamed Ghanaian Hip-Hop song on Spotify with over 20M plays

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V.O. Nation frontman, E.L breaks Spotify’s streaming record for Ghanaian musicians today, clocking over 20,000,000+ streams for a song from years back that bizarrely flew under the radar to now become by far the highest streamed Ghanaian Hip-Hop song to date. (more…)

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Somali-Canadian Singer Amaal, Releases New Single “Heaven”

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Amaal releases her long-awaited follow up single “Heaven” across all major tv and radio stations in South Africa and her newly established fans are beaming in excitement! Having debuted her very first single “Honey” in South Africa a few months ago, Amaal took some time to express her gratitude to SA media for the love and support that she receives all the way in Canada.

Amaal’s new single keeps viewers mesmerized as they dive into the free and luscious mind of the singer-songwriter. Amaal will reveal more on her acts of feminine liberation, detailing her unapologetic inner thoughts that embrace intimacy and female autonomy on her highly-anticipated forthcoming EP, Milly, releasing October 28th.

Amaal’s first studio EP Black Dove made quite an impact in the Canadian music scene as she showcased her powerful intuition both musically and emotionally. “Not What I Thought” boasts 1.8 million views as Amaal sang her heart out in a gorgeous Iceland set music video directed by Sean Brown. “Amaal has mastered the art of pairing airy but commanding vocals with pulsing production,” The Fader explains.

The fourth of ten children, Amaal began her remarkable journey in war-torn Mogadishu, where she and her family lived until they were forced to flee as refugees in the early 1990s. Starting over fresh in Toronto, she embraced the poetic nature of her cultural heritage but bristled at the conservative structures and customs that came with it, particularly the repressive expectations placed upon women.

By the time she hit 20, Amaal had grown bold enough to begin making her own music, but she still felt limited as to what she could sing about, so she focused her creative energy on politically and socially conscious material inspired by the civil unrest in Somalia and the struggles her people faced as a result. It was powerful stuff, to be sure, but there was more to Amaal than being a refugee, and she longed to express the fullness of herself and her story in her art. In 2019, Amaal finally worked up the courage to step outside of her comfort zone with the release of Black Dove, a daringly vulnerable collection that found her reckoning with love and heartbreak and desire in her music for the very first time.

Though it felt incredibly risky, the EP was a critical smash, garnering a Juno nomination for Soul/R&B Recording of the Year, racking up millions of streams online, and prompting rave reviews across the board. Complex hailed Amaal’s “airy and ethereal vocals,” while Vibe proclaimed her a singer “like no other,” and Exclaim! dubbed her “an artist that demands attention.” Amaal’s sophomore EP, entitled Milly, will be released October 28, 2021.

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Music producer Alpha Bz releases ‘Togging’ featuring Koo Ntakra: Now Available on all major streaming platforms.

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Alpha Bz looks set to storm the music industry, especially in the West African market, with the release of his new single titled Togging. The song features Koo Ntakra, one of the best rappers in Ghana.

The Tune Click signee appears ready to treat his fans and lovers of music around the world to impactful songs as ‘Togging’ becomes available on all major streaming platforms from October 15, 2021.

Africa has grown over the decades to become a major force in the global music environment, with the continent exporting several talented singers, songwriters, and music producers to the international scene. Ghana has played a significant part in the multi-billion-dollar market, with the likes of Sarkodie, M.anifest, Medikal, FlowKing Stone, Joey B, Kwesi Arthur, and R2Bees, literally championing the rap game in the country. However, it seems to be the dawn of a new beginning, with the huge talent of Alpha Bz, a gifted music producer and sound engineer, considering the feat achieved in recent times. The talented music producer has built a reputation in the industry, working with the likes of Safoa and Nayo on the hit single When Money Dey.

Togging brings in a new dimension, with the artist, Koo Ntakra, proving his class with an amazing mix of entertaining yet thought-provoking lyrics on banging beats. Alpha Bz has described Koo Ntakra as the best rapper and he has unarguably delivered.

The highly anticipated single, which is now available on all major streaming platforms, has been gaining traction, with support from the media and lovers of good music. For more information about Togging and other works from Alpha Bz under the Tune Click management as well as other projects from the art and entertainment company, visit – www.tuneclick.live. Tune Click can also be found across several social media platforms, including Instagram and YouTube.

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AmaPiano hitmaker DBN Gogo joins Spotify’s Global EQUAL Music Programme

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DBN Gogo is the latest artist to join the Spotify EQUAL Music Programme as the EQUAL Africa artist of the month.

 

The programme, aimed at providing a platform to highlight women in music, sees Spotify welcoming the popular AmaPiano DJ as the first South African artist to join its growing roster of influential female creators, which includes Nigeria’s Tiwa Savage and US rapper Saweetie.

 

This announcement comes off the back of DBN Gogo’s appearance at  AMA Fest 2021. The UK-based festival successfully showcased the ‘best of AmaPiano’ to  fans, with DBN Gogo bringing her energy and signature dance moves to the global stage. 

 

“DBN Gogo has managed to dominate two spheres within the music industry traditionally driven by the opposite sex: DJing and AmaPiano. For us, putting our support behind DBN Gogo not only speaks to what we do under the EQUAL umbrella, but further drives the support we have continued to show the AmaPiano genre since it came to the fore,” says Phiona Okumu, Spotify Head of Music, Sub Saharan Africa.

 

DBN Gogo, who recently claimed a spot on the top 10 list of the most streamed artists by South African youth on Spotify, only recently began her professional DJing career and was catapulted to superstardom when the hits ‘Dakiwe’, ‘French Kiss’ and ‘Khuza Gogo’ blew up the local music scene alongside her #dakiwechallenge video, which amassed over three million TikTok views alone.

 

“Being a part of Spotify’s EQUAL Music Programme is a reminder that I do not need to apologise for being a powerful woman. I had a dream and realised that old ways don’t open new doors. So, I decided to make every moment count to ensure that I become everything I wanted,” adds DBN Gogo.

 

As the latest artist to join the EQUAL Music Programme, DBN Gogo will also grace Spotify’s Time Square billboard in New York and her latest track ‘Possible’ featuring Musa Keys, Dinho, Optimist Music ZA, Makhanj, Lebza TheVillain, Koek Sista, will lead the EQUAL Africa playlist and feature on the EQUAL Global playlist.

 

DBN Gogo also features on Spotify’s flagship AmaPiano playlist AmaPiano Grooves.

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Tomi Thomas Pushes Artistry to the Forefront with “Hopeless Romantic Riddim”

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Singing and playing guitar, Tomi Thomas lays down the foundation of the Hopeless Romantic Riddim dropping October 14th, 2021. The Nigerian artist released an EP of the same name earlier this year, featuring tracks spanning Afrobeat, dancehall, and reggae genres. The highly anticipated drop lived up to the hype with industry support and extensive press coverage in Africa, Europe, the United States, and the Caribbean, along with other pockets of global reach.

Tomi Thomas’ music has a heartbeat, and the Hopeless Romantic Riddim showcases yet another aspect of his repertoire. The seven-track Riddim compilation is an explosive instrumentally driven accompaniment to the songs. “Super blessed and excited about all the riddims, big love to all the amazing creatives who etched themselves into my story and journey. I am forever grateful we go higher in these exciting times,” he said. Tomi is also a visual artist with many exceptional talents and abilities. He created the cover art, and it expresses the project’s true nature as poetry in motion. The special project also features dancehall recording artist Stylo G, along with experimental Afro-R&B artist boistory.

Tracklisting

1. Hopeless Romantic

2. Come My Way by boistory

3. three thirty by Aleicia

4. On My Own by Ria Sean

5. Foreign Car by Karmah Cruz

6. Hopeless Romantic ft. Stylo G

7. Hopeless Romantic (Instrumental)

 

After releasing the Hopeless Romantic EP in early June, Tomi Thomas debuted the music video for “Hurricane,” a song from the project featuring Buju Banton on the Fader. The young star leads the modern African music scene with a genuine passion and appreciation for the arts. He continues to evolve and grow with every move, and his fanbase shows their love and support. The solo artist has found success on his own after time with popular musical group Loud On Sound (LOS) early in his career. In releasing his debut album, the single “Ready Or Not” reached #1 on the Soundcity Nigeria’s Top 10 Chart.

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