The infamous D banj concert that Enyinne had bought tickets for way back in December finally took place last Sunday (February 19) and it was a fun night. (Even though we skipped for the after party to work so we could work on launching H1960 which is live now). After the D banj show, I reminisced on all the other fun concerts i’ve been to in the past years and I’ve decided to share pics/videos and hopefully introduce you to some artists you may have never heard of.
WEST AFRICAN FLOW
NAIJA BOYS : D Banj + P Square
*Pic is via Mike Vj One.
Mr Kokomaster himself needs no introduction. Well maybe to US audiences who seem to be finally paying attention to him, as evidenced by the fact that last week’s concert was featured on the New York Times. Or maybe it’s the fact that he may be Africa’s biggest pop star. (According to Africa is A Country site). His show really was entertaining (*cue ‘The Entertainer’)and his dancers were wow! I may need some Kokolette lessons. Speaking of ‘Kokolettes’, the ladies of the audience came out dressed to impress. Afripop mag captured the street style. We spy Enyinne there somewhere in a JBL waistcoat. Marie took a pic with him as shown above. More pics are available via Vicki Remoe’s sweet salone site. The video below is also from her site.
P Square have managed to sell out huge venues wherever they perform, as they did in 2009 summer when I saw them live in Queens, NY. I sang along to every single song, they had the audience dancing and girls literally passing out. They have been on the Wendy Williams show(where she asked really dumb questions) and have a brand new video with Akon called ‘Chop My Money’ that dropped in the wee hours.
Ghana in the House.
Blitz the Ambassador
Blitz is another favorite of mine. He reps for Ghana and him and his band are awesome. I’ve seen him perform about two or three times. I love the fact that he’s into film as well, having produced a documentary called ‘Native Sun’. He stated”We have to create other things that will make our music noticed. It’s very difficult to get anyone to buy music today, so it’s more about creating worlds, so if you create a world that other people are willing to exist in, and they’re willing to support it, and willing to spread the word about it, so we are making a short film that’s gonna add another element to the album, and I’m really excited about it.” Well said!!
My favorite song of his is ‘Dear Africa’ with ‘Les Nubians’
EAST AFRICAN FLAVOR: Iyadede (Rwanda) + K’NAAN (Somalia) Just A Band (Kenya)
*Photo Credit: Lafotographeuse aka. Amanda Adams – Louis
Last summer, Society Hae, Caribbean Cultural Center Diasporan Institute and Lincoln Center Out of Doors organized a concert called ‘This is Africa’ featuring my girl Iyadede who looks and sounds amazing everytime i see her. My favorite song from her set was ‘The Love’. I got to see a sneak peak of the video and I love it. While we’re waiting for it to officially drop, check out this video with Theolophilus London below which we released first on Radio Afro. (cuz we love our exclusives) and check Miss Dede out on MTV Iggy. She makes some awesome jewelry too. And has a blog and site.
I have to tell this story. A few months before the world cup in South Africa (summer 2010), I had been telling my friends Tina, Tobi and Ice to get familiar with K’naan. I played TIA (This is Africa) for them in the fall of 2009 and they were like “turn it off, we dont like it). Fastforward to ‘Waving Flag’ and then they were like “he’s cool”. Duh, I had BEEN SAYING THAT. Anyway, I saw him live in October 2010 at Webster hall and he was AMAZING as I knew he would be (he’s one of my hubbies). The pics are by my sis KK( who also does those amazing nails I blogged about). He also has a new video out with Nas which is below.
Just A Band.
Describing Kenya’s ‘Just A Band‘ in one word is hard. So I’ll let the video speak for itself. I saw them live in NYC at Drom in the summer of 2011 and felt like the performance was too short. I hope to see them again this year a I know they have some dates lined up. I need an interview too for Radio Afro. Let’s see what I can do.
SOUTHERN AFRICAN SWAG : Spoek Mathambo (South Africa) + Freshly Ground (South Africa) + Fally Ipupa (Congo DR) + Black Coffee (South Africa)+ Awilo (Congo DR) + Malaika (South Africa)
PS: I’m Southern African so hence the overload :)
Spoek Mathambo who reps for South Africa also performed and I got to meet him briefly that day via Sarah Williams. I died and went to heaven when he followed me on twitter. Spoek has been featured in the fader, Arise, just scored the cover of a dope mag as shown in the pic above, has a new video trailer out for his album as seen below(which drops March 12 or 13) is in the running for Best Video at MK Awards for ‘Control’ which you can vote for here, did a mixtape for Okay Africa and gave a Ted Talk which popped up on youtube recently. Plus,he has a slew of shows in the US from March/April. He’s been described as being part of a new wave of sonic explorers from Africa as well. That’s what you call a working man!
“Doo bee doo, be doo, be doo…. “*sings
I grew up watching Channel O when I lived in Lusaka, Zambia and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and every time Freshly Ground’s “Doo be doo” song came on, i would sing along and wonder what the hell it meant. Freshly Ground have continued to produce eye catching videos (remember ‘Chicken Change’ which was banned in Zimbabwe as it depicted Mugabe not in the best light?). Anyway, they were in NYC for the annual summer stage in central park and it was FREE!! I went with my friends Mwaka and Kachana and danced the whole show. #funtimes Oh and they replied to my tweet that day :)
First off, who are this men’s parents and how did they create such a specimen of a man? Cuz he is …. *clutches pearls. Lets just say he can gyrate his waist off and is putting lots of men to shame.lol. I saw Fally at the 2011 Museke Afrotainment Awards in NY and ask Marie, i almost jumped onto the stage when he got on that stage. All i ask is for a man that can dance like that to be sent into my life.(Video is from Afrotainment utube page) *Amen
I got a chance to meet and interview Black Coffee last summer for Africa Style Daily. He was really nice! I saw him perform a few days later at ‘Le Poission Rouge’ in NYC. He will be back in the states on March 16 for a concert at the Sullivan room, so check that out. I can listen to him dj for dayzz.
Everyone must know Awilo Longomba or you must hide under a rock NOW! lol. He has us still playing “Comment Tu T’appele’ in 2012 and that song’s been out since like 1996. That’s how powerful he is. I saw him live in Queens at a Nigerian independence after party in October 2010. That was the same day i saw K’naan actually.
Malaika are another group I grew up watching on Channel O years ago. I saw them during my bday weekend of 2010 at SOBS and had an amazing time. It was my bday weekend and I got to meet them after the event so that made my day :) Tjo the guy can dance! Southern African swag man!!
There you have it! What african acts have you seen over the years? Who were your faves? Who are you looking forward to seeing this year? If you don’t manage to catch any acts soon, you can listen to them via the ‘8 Sites to Discover African Music’( written by moi). Speaking of seeing acts live, I’m using this article via Okay Africa as my guide to the best African music festivals. One day soon, I’ll attend all those concerts. Who wants to come with? Which country in Africa has the best music festivals? As you can see, The North isn’t repped, so clue me in to whats hot there.
PS: Lady Smith Black Mambazo is performing in Albany, NY in mid march. Who wants to buy me tickets? :)
Drop a comment and let me know!