Tuesday, December 20, 2011

soul food: john forté's 'drift on'

music to breathe to. 

i hope you can see the shore from where you are/you may be miles away, but close at heart
i hope you can see the dawn from where you stand/it might be dark...but you will land.
drift on...you will land.


Friday, December 9, 2011

soul food: zaki ibrahim's 'something in the water'

canadian/south african afropolitan zaki ibrahim has released a new single from her forthcoming album every opposite. something in the water is a soulful house track and is the first release from her first full-length album, which was conceived and recorded entirely in south africa. i don't know about y'all, but this is the perfect track to lose myself in after a loooooong week.


Monday, December 5, 2011

soul food: illume sessions ~ shad k

so we had this idea one day. and it grew into 'illume sessions', a mini-documentary series featuring artists and change-makers. after many misadventures in the editing lab, illume creative studio's first 'illume sessions' episode is up, and it features the brilliant shad k. it was filmed while shad was back in rwanda performing at the kigali up! festival. check it:

i learned so much working on this. and i'm so excited to be working with by brilliant partners in crime. and also: shad is awesome.

more soon come!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

soul food: new amy winehouse

bbc radio 1 debuted two new tracks from amy winehouse's forthcoming album lioness: hidden treasures.

as expected, i love them both. she stays true to the sound and style that made her so very unique and memorable. listen to 'our day will come', here, and check out 'like smoke' featuring nas, below.

miss you, amy.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

soul food: meshell ndegeocello's 'weather'

the phenomenal talent that is meshell ndegeocello is releasing her new album, weather, on november 8

'On her new, Joe Henry-produced album Weather — out Nov. 8 — Ndegeocello indulges her soulful alt-pop side, expanding on the quieter and more sensual moments of 2009's Devil's Halo. Pairing seductive, Sade-esque vocals with catchy downtempo arrangements, she crafts some seriously affecting torch songs here. Though many of the tracks on Weather convey a sweet soul jangle, they're most affecting when Ndegeocello slows the tempo to the speed of a tender first kiss
Alternating between expressions of insecurity and brash self-assuredness, Ndegeocello is at her sinewy best here. The heartbreak evoked by "Objects in Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear" is stunning, but the real accomplishment lies in the way the music captures the unique sensation of driving past an old lover's house and not being able to shake that feeling of longing, no matter how much time has passed. 
Appropriately titled, Weather captures the complex and unpredictable emotions that accompany intimacy, desire and alienation. They're feelings as familiar and as old as time itself, but as this gorgeous, moving album makes clear, they still have the power to surprise and even terrorize.' - NPR

listen to it in its entirety, here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

soul food: 'powerman' ~ howaboutbeth

file under: things that took my breath away today.

kenyan-english artist, beth mburu-bowie (aka howaboutbeth) is my latest discovery [via @ophiona] and i'm well on my way to becoming obsessed.

 POWERMAN by HowAboutBeth



Monday, October 24, 2011

soul food: 'fanfare' ~ leo37

one of those incredibly rare moments where you hear something and have to sit down to process it because it's that dope. check out this dope preview by PPFHouse for leo37's upcoming EP, 'fanfare'. brilliant.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

soul food: make my ~ the roots

new leak from the roots' upcoming album, undun.
make my featuring big k.r.i.t


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

soul food: 'give me water' ~ john forté + valerie june

i've fallen in love with new video from john forté for give me water off his latest release, the water suitefeaturing the insanely beautiful valerie june. love the combination and contrast of their unique sounds. so refreshing! and it's beautifully directed by forté himself. love love.


Monday, October 10, 2011

illume sessions: shad k

trailer for shad k's illume sessions (via illume creative studio). a brief glimpse into the upcoming episode featuring performance and interview with shad k.


Friday, October 7, 2011

soul food: one day soon ~ ian kamau

i love ian kamau. but this has already been made abundantly clear. after releasing EPs and some pretty amazing mixtapes, he's released his first full-length LP.  and it sounds as dope as i expected it to be. if not doper. yes...'doper' is a word.

listen! buy! spread the word!

and check out the trailer for the video for 'the village', which is the first single of the album.


afrika21: your soundtrack to the new african renaissance

societyHAE has released vol 2 of the AFRIKA21 mixtape! woot. check it:

AFRIKA21 The Mixtape... Your Soundtrack To The New African Renaissance

Society HAE conceptualized AFRIKA21 with the goal of creating a platform to introduce Africa's emerging creative thinkers in the fields of music and arts & culture.  Afrika21 will give audiences a first hand look at 21st century contemporary African music and culture, and open up a new dialogue about Africa. The Afrika21 Mixtape Project serves as an opportunity to celebrate Africaʼs next wave of musicians, highlight the renaissance taking place on the continent and raise the profile of people and organizations working toward farming a new vision of Africa in the 21st century. 

Listen and DOWNLOAD the mixtape vol. 2 HERE.

AFRIKA21 The Mixtape vol. 2 by afrika21

Thursday, September 22, 2011

in his own words: troy davis

the execution of troy davis and the lengthy proceedings that resulted in him being on death row for 20 years are a perfect example of when the quest for justice results in a gross miscarriage of justice. my heart goes out to the family of the slain police officer who so brutally lost his life. but to condemn someone to what is tantamount to torture and to death with such scant and contradictory evidence...with so many gaps in due process...and on the basis of testimony from witnesses who later recanted is---quite simply--barbaric.

i will not attempt to analyze any of this at all, as my heart is heavy and i'm overwhelmed by the idea of how many troy davis' have existed before today, how many are out there now, and how many are yet to come. so--for posterity--i simply want to post his words. to put a human voice and face to the man that everyone is talking about and that everyone--hopefully--won't soon forget. this goes beyond the fight for a human being's life. this is a fight to change an entire system so that legal lynchings can no longer be sanctioned.

in his own words (from a letter written in 2008):


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

soul food: body and soul ~ amy winehouse and tony bennett

one of my absolute favorites, covered by one of my absolute favorites. i will never not miss amy winehouse. 


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

horn of africa: african-led solutions

what can we, as africans, do to help? we cannot wait simply for government-led initiatives. the crisis becomes more intense and more overwhelming on a daily basis. but we must keep in mind that whatever action we take is bound to make a difference, however small.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

ian kamau: all i need

from the awesomeness of his three-volume mixtape, love and other struggles, here is 'all i need' by ian kamau. love the lovebirds.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

afropolitana: kae sun

ghanian-canadian singer-songwriter kae sun is currently in my top 10 list of music-i-listen-to-too-damn-much. 

he released his debut album, lion on a leash, in 2010. his latest single from the album is 'black candles', a beautifully poignant track about childhood. 

'black candles'

he recently released an EP entitled outside the barcode upon his return from ghana and it is described as 'an authentic and reflective collection of songs that showcase kae’s growth as a songwriter, storyteller and guitarist.' 

he recorded the EP in ontario in april 2011 and the recording was captured in this beautiful video shot and directed by star p and armand kanjangwe (rwandan-canadian afropolitans).

download the EP here.  


Monday, August 8, 2011

new music: ian kamau's 'choose you'

the brother ian kamau has released a new video for 'choose you' from his september nine vol 3: love and other struggles mixtape. love the track. love the concept. i have to say, despite the fact that i've been eagerly awaiting this album for a while now, kamau has more than made up for the wait with these brilliant mixtapes. he's just truth and light and general awesome. 


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

soul food: afropolitana: somi ~ live at the jazz standard

Somi's new album 'Live at the Jazz Standard' is out today.

Check out the video below for 'Prayer to the Saint of the Brokenhearted'


Monday, June 13, 2011

soul food: jill scott's 'the light of the sun'

great way to start the week: listen to the entire album on NPR's first listen, here.

loving it. truly.

jill scott previews the album, live:


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

soul food: afropolitana ~ michael kiwanuka

introducing: michael kiwanuka.

citing influences ranging from joni mitchell to bill withers, this ugandan/british vocalist has an incredibly soulful old-school voice that belies his 23 years of age. this, right here, is some truly good music. here, he performs the the first single from his upcoming EP, tell me a tale:

his EP tell me a tale (isle of white sessions) is available on itunes and amazon, now, and will be available in stores on june 13 2011.

my favorite track, thus far:

shout out to afripopmag for the heads up!


Thursday, June 2, 2011

soul food: asa's 'why can't we'

love this soul train-like video.


Saturday, May 28, 2011

illuminate the world


Gil Scott-Heron

Nobody one can do everything, but everyone can do something.
Gil Scott-Heron
April 1 1949 - May 27 2011

Rest in Peace and Power


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

soul food: tumi and the volume's 'asinamali'

you know who's a) awesome and b) ridiculously slept on? tumi and the volume. from their latest album, pick a dream (the quartet's third alubm, nominated for a south african music award in the best rap album category) here's the brand new video for the first single: asinamali. literally translating as 'i have no money', this track tackles the attitudes to and politics of fame and money, and all that comes with it. also: it's highly head-nod-able.


now playing: 'a mess' by shabazz palaces

shabazz palaces features ishamael 'butterfly' butler from digable planets. so geeked that he's back.
read about them here.


Monday, May 23, 2011

creating change: wanlov's 'for the river'

heralded by arise magazine as one of the top change agents in ghana for his role as a humanitarian, social activist, and environmentalist, wanlov the kubolor has released a remake of new zealander hollie smith's 'bathe in the river'. featured in nick dwyer's making tracks (a music magazine television series which takes new zealand's music around the world and blends it with the music and cultures of countries which have so far included lebanon, ukraine, japan, and ghana), the track is an upbeat, hip-life number in which the kubolor bemoans the environmental damage in his country. wanlov will begin touring in europe this june to promote his forthcoming album, brown card: african gypsy.

wanlov the kubolor: for the river (bathe in the river)


soul food: stephen marley's 'made in africa'

'made in africa' by stephen marley featuring wale and the cast of fela!


Friday, May 6, 2011

soul food: blitz + corneille 'best i can'

blitz the ambassador has released his first video from native sun. here's 'best i can' featuring the brilliant rwandan soul star, corneille. 


Saturday, April 30, 2011

soul food: blitz the ambassador's 'native sun'

ghanaian-american emcee, blitz the ambassador is back with his new album, native sun. because he's ridiculously dope, he has streamed his whole album on youtube. this, right here, is pure [african] hip hop:


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

soul food: kenna's 'land 2 air chronicles I: chaos and darkness'

i've waxed lyrical about afropolitan recording artist and producer kenna and his awesome before, so i'm mad geeked about this: in 2011, kenna will release a three-part EP series entitled the land 2 air chronicles. the first of the trilogy is land 2 air I: chaos and darkness and it will be launched today, april 26th, with a brand new single, chains. the single features sammy hoffa, also known as chad hugo of the neptunes, with whom kenna has been collaborating since he's first album. the track is co-written by paul banks of interpol and is described as 'a piece of pure pop-electro and dance mastery [that] reflects kenna's bravado and history as he step out of the shadows with a new found sound and confidence.'

out of the three EPs, land 2 air I: chaos and darkness is the darkest, capturing kenna's 'personal account of the struggle to break free of the barriers that prevent one's vision from coming to life or taking flight.' each EP will feature three new songs accompanied by original artwork and they will lead up to kenna's much-anticipated third studio album songs for flight, the inspiration for which comes in part from his gruelling experience as he attempted to climb to the top of mount kilimanjaro for summit on the summit, a philanthropic project he spearheaded in 2010 to raise awareness about the clean water global crisis.

land 2 air I: chaos and darkness will be released digitally today, april 26th, in all retail outlets around the world.  i suspect it'll create much fodder for TV and movie soundtracks. mark my words!

the video should be out later today...in the meantime,  download chains (featuring shimmy hoffa) here.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

soul food: 'wind song' by john forté and sunsay

from brooklyn to russia, with love: a new track from john forté and sunsay.

wind song


Thursday, April 7, 2011

17 years later...

seventeen years have passed, and the people of rwanda are going about the business of building our future. honouring memory, without being paralyzed by the past. telling our stories so that they may continue to be heard...so that we never forget. rebuilding our country and our people so that we are empowered to ensure that the horror of genocide may never again be repeated. 

today, we remember the lives lost over the course of 100 days in 1994. 
today, we honour the lives of those lost in the years leading up to the genocide. 
today, we pray for the survivors, as their struggle continues.
today, we pledge to preserve our dignity and uphold the truth.
and whether or not we can ever understand how such horror of such magnitude took place...today, we remember and we vow, 'never again'.  

'i'll never understand' by shad


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

jay-z's life and times

jay z is blogging. 

his new site, life and times, focuses on style, leisure, sports, technology, music and art + design. it looks fly, so far.


soul food: new music from jill scott

new track from the lovely and ever-awesome jill scott, from her forthcoming album the light of the sun.

'shame' featuring eve

i've missed them both.

also: here's the first single from her other upcoming album (a compilation of previously unreleased material from hidden beach called just before dawn)...her cover of bill withers' 'lovely day'


Sunday, March 27, 2011

yaa, he got it: shad k wins a juno

shad k can finally polish that juno! on the first night of the juno awards, held in toronto, canada, the amazingness [sic] that is shad's tsol received the award for rap recording of the year, beating out the clear favorite: drake's thank me later. so well-deserved. this album is the freshness. (in case i haven't said it before)

shad k, 'listen'


Friday, March 4, 2011

support good music: somi live at the jazz standard

the lovely and talented Somi is recording a live album on march 29 - 30 2011 at the jazz standard in nyc. she needs all the help she can get to make this album happen! so, please watch the video, then click on the link below and do what you can--however little--to support good music!


Friday, February 18, 2011

soul food: bez's 'more you'

nigerian soul man, bez. refreshing sound. love.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

'i believe' by john forte









Tuesday, February 8, 2011

soul food: shad k's 'keep shining'

when i first heard this track on Shad's TSOL album, tears came to my eyes. a beautiful ode to all the women that have shaped and influenced his life, personally and professionally, 'Keep Shining' is positive and uplifting and reinforces that 'true beauty doesn't run from the light.' the video features women of all walks of life spreading the message. love it.

'no curls too tight, no mind too bright, no skin too dark to keep shining'


Sunday, February 6, 2011

bob marley day!

today marks what would have been the 65th birthday of robert nesta marley. a visionary and a messenger, the impact of his music in my life is almost impossible to describe. i just don't remember my life without him.


Monday, January 31, 2011

reality check

over the past few months, as i was making the giant leap from my secure good-on-paper job to self-employment, i kept reading and reading and researching and spouting quotes about following one's dreams and being one's authentic self (tm auntie O) and creating the change we want to see, etc, etc. there were the first few weeks of anxiety attacks, just after resigning, but those passed eventually and i submerged myself in the newness and the opportunity and all of that. i knew it would not be without its ups and downs, but i've generally been very positive and upbeat and 'woo hoo!' about the whole thing.

and then i stopped by the bank and asked for a statement, today.

i am currently still on floor in fetal position as it dawns on me that not having a regular paycheque is going to mean being devastatingly broke [uh...relatively...file this under 'high class problems'] for more than a little while. i knew that in theory, but i now have the proof in these couple of sheets of paper that i'm clutching to my chest.


*plaintive wail*

alright, i'm done.

Friday, January 21, 2011

new year

 “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” 

Lao Tzu

a change has got to be made this year. 


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

soul food: be my man

asa's latest: be my man from her album beautiful imperfection. dope video.