African music offers endless riches. (Massive understatement.) Its diversity and pan-continental trends are always surprising to novice and expert alike. For some choice cuts from the summer of 2012, I turned to five very different Afrophile movers and shakers around the globe.
Nadine McNulty (Batuki Music Society, Toronto):
Toronto’s much admired live music promoter selects Fatoumata Diawara, "Sowa," (World Circuit).
"The song 'Sowa' from her impressive debut release Fatou has a catchy melody and soulful vocals. Fatoumata is a talented younger singer, guitarist and songwriter of Malian heritage.”
Guillaume Decouflet, manager, agent for Poirier, Boogat, A Tribe Called Red, Bonjay, and co-host of Masala Radio, CISM Montreal):
Decouflet’s professional activities are virtually a primer of the multipolar phenomenon known as World Music 2.0. He cites E.L.’s “Obuu Mo” as his top tune. “The sound of Ghana and Nigeria is taking over Afro pop right now both on the continent and in the expat communities, like in the U.K. E.L.'s huge hit is the perfect example of the Azonto style, which is the latest craze in the clubs everywhere and is crossing the language barriers”.
MC Bonde (The African Groove, G 98.7 Toronto)
Although Bonde is a proud Zimbabwean, he also is feeling the Ghanaian spirit this summer and selects Lapaz Toyota’s “Guru” Guru's "Lapaz Toyota." “In fact this summer 2012 belonged to Ghana with the Azonto dance being the number one African dance and music. It took the whole summer, but it got everyone doing/trying to do the Azonto dance ... LOL”.
Benjamin Lebrave (Akwaaba Records, Ghana):
Lebrave’s selection makes for a Ghanaian hat-trick. “I think I'll go with 'Aluguntugui' by Keche," he says. "The beat is by Nshona, whom I wrote about recently in my Fader column, he's one of the sickest beatmakers in Ghana at the moment. Keche started with a bang last year with their previous hit, 'Sokode.' But 'Alunguntugui' is even wilder. Aluguntugui is the name of a fruit."
Chief Boima (DJéproducer, Dutty Artz, New York City):
DJing for the most demanding audiences in the world requires sublime selections and DJ skills. Boima doesn’t mess around and immediately cites DJ Sbu. “My top one right now is 'Le Ngoma' by DJ Sbu. The voice, the melody the passion of Zahara the singer. One of those instant classics."
These are Swahili South African vibes at their finest.
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on Aug 13, 2012