Recently a compilation came out covering 50 years of African music, an 18 CD compilation of 185 songs. Many of these tracks crossed borders and helped build a new global awareness of Africa.
Today it seems like the borders between western and African music are very fluid. Makes us wonder what is the “African” sound of today? Banning Eyre is the editor of Afropop.org, and reviews African music for NPR’s All Things Considered. He’s also written about his musical travels on the continent. Brian Shimkovitz is a music publicist at Sacks & Co, but he also writes a music blog that has become a repository for some of the more obscure African music, past and present. It’s called Awesome Tapes from Africa. The public radio show Afropop Worldwide helped to popularize the music of Africa in the US, but it’s gotten help from western artists along the way, like Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel, Ry Cooder, and more recently the indie band Vampire Weekend. In the last year, a musical about the life and music of Fela Kuti became a big hit on Broadway, with help from producers like Jay-Z and Will Smith. But as our guests today will tell you, there’s so much more music coming out of Africa than we get to hear through popular culture. So today – a listening session featuring the sounds of Africa. SONG LIST Banning Eyre Picks:
Brian Shimkovitz Picks
1. “Moma Yendodo” - Ata Kak (Ghana)
2. “Warm Heart of Africa” - The Very Best (Malawai/UK)
3. “Molalatladi" - BLK JKS (South Africa)
4. “Only Me” - 2Face Idibia (Nigeria)
5. “Zomeye” - Alem Kebede (Ethiopia)