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Remembering Fela

Fela Anikulapo-Kuti would be 79 years old this month, had he not died from complications of AIDS in 1997. By the time of his death, Fela was the inventor of the enduring and influential Afrobeat music style, the composer of … Read more »

This Week's Close Up »

Black, Greek and Proud: Negros Tou Mouria

As Europe closes Greece’s borders in an attempt to stem the seemingly never-ending flow of refugees, immigrant artists are finding it tough to survive in an increasingly xenophobic environment. Ghanaian-Greek rapper Negros Tou Mouria is carving out new territory and challenging … Read more »

Blog »

Blog Fresh Cuts, Vol. Eight
interview Mdou Moctar Talks Tuareg Film and Music
Blog “Making Farming Cool!” Podcast Series with IGD
feature Remembering Fela: Program Script
Blog Abdel Kadiri and the Making of Modern Raï
Blog Best of The Beat on Afropop: Fela’s Last Phone Call (1984)

Reviews »

  • La Confusion

    In 1992, the first time I went to Mali, I was pawing through cassettes at a market stall, piling up my first cache of awesome tapes from Bamako. Some of the names were familiar, many not. The seller helped me … Read more »

  • Loé Loa: Rural Recordings Under the Mango Tree

    When you press play on Loé Loa: Rural Recordings Under the Mango Tree, Betsayda Machado’s voice rises like a 747 airplane: impossibly big but soaring all the same. You get a cadence, then a repeat from her backing chorus, and … Read more »

  • Tokooos

    Tokooos, the new album from the Kinshasa-born Congolese artist, musician, producer, executive producer and philanthropist, Fally Ipupa, will enthrall African music lovers. This is Fally Ipupa’s fourth solo album, and the most ambitious in years. With Tokooos, Fally is attempting … Read more »

  • Ladilikan ,

    Da kali means “to give a pledge” in Bamana, the most widely spoken language in Mali. The phrase refers to the deepest responsibilities of a griot (or jeli), a commitment to preserving the memory of history, but also adherence to … Read more »

La Confusion

In 1992, the first time I went to Mali, I was pawing through cassettes at a market stall, piling up my first cache of awesome tapes from Bamako. Some of the names were familiar, many not. The seller helped me … Read more »

Interviews »

  • Mdou Moctar Talks Tuareg Film and Music

    Mdou Moctar is a Tuareg guitarist and singer/songwriter from Niger. He has been touring in the United States in support of his third album, Sousoume Tamachek. It’s a beautiful, intimate session, blending acoustic and electric guitar, male voices and light … Read more »

  • Ayo Charts Her Own Path on Fifth Album

    Singer/songwriter Ayo visited the Afropop office on the occasion of her fifth album release, a self-titled, self-produced set of 14 songs that she says best represents her artistic vision. As we spoke, she kept an eye on her infant son, … Read more »

  • Vicente Garcia’s Journey Back to Bachata

    When nothing else seemed appealing, Vicente Garcia headed to the countryside. The young Dominican singer-songwriter had already anchored a successful band, Calor Urbano, and put out his first solo album, but his label was pushing him towards recording more commercial … Read more »

  • Interview: Bunji Garlin and Fay Ann Lyons on Soca Music Today ,,,

    Brooklyn’s Caribbean Carnival season recently passed, culminating in the massive, raucous Labor Day weekend festivities, crowned by the sprawling West Indian American Day Parade down Eastern Parkway. In the weeks around Labor Day, Brooklyn and Queens played host to an … Read more »

  • Mind the Band: Tony Allen

    “Mind the Band” is a new series consisting of interviews conducted and transcribed by Nenim Iwebuke. Nenim is a Nigerian-born, New York-based DJ who brought this series to life through his many encounters with underground and mainstream musicians performing at … Read more »

  • A Drum Machine and Some Freedom: An Interview With Mannie Fresh

    Mannie Fresh–producer, rapper and DJ–is a true legend of hip-hop. The architect of the Cash Money sound, Fresh spent years perfecting bounce within New Orleans, before spearheading the label’s mainstream crossover, bringing southern hip-hop to the top of the charts, … Read more »

  • Manuel Garcia Orozco: Revealing Colombia’s Invisible Legend, Magín Díaz

    At 95 years old, Magín Díaz recently released his first solo record after a lifetime of influencing the popular and folk musics of Colombia. A legendary traditional singer and composer, Magín’s impact on the music of his country has remained largely unrecognized … Read more »

  • Blick Bassy Charts His Own Course

    Blick Bassy is a Cameroonian singer and multi-instrumentalist, living in France and creating highly original African music. These days, he is touring with a trio, playing banjo and singing, backed by cello and trombone. The ensemble is featuring songs from … Read more »