African Music #8

africaI recently had a discussion with a friend about fair trade and it threw up some deep questions about African music. Who really owns the rights to the recordings? Who brokers what? How connected is the artist to his/her audience market? Is the music industry inherently complex? Is this solely an African concern? Welcome to the African music roundup.

John Buckman of magnatune blog gives a reason for the lack of African music on magnatune

“I received two great African music CDs recently. These are musicians from Africa, recording in London. However, I can't accept that CD for Magnatune, because the recording is totally owned by a producer in London, who would then receive all the sales royalties, and none would go to the actual performers. This situation, where the recording company or producer owns all the rights to an album, is the norm in world music.”

A very moral and importance stance. The artist must have ownership of his material.

Cold sweat of Lock it down reviews the record “Lagos Stori PlentyHaxi

“While we're still at home enjoying “African Rebel” as, without doubt, THE best reggae compilation cd to see the light of day this year, the busy Germanz of Out|Here records went back to Africa to cook up a fine new release: Lagos Stori Plenti. A comp with the finest hip hop Nigeria has to offer today. An yet again, it's killing.”

looking forward to listening to this cd and sampling what Nigeria‘s finest have to offer.

Akii Bua Denise of Late Nights in Kampala talks about Monday nights in the capital city of Uganda.


“For starters, most people are nursing their hangovers from all the parting they did from Friday night. Some just got married and are still promising their undying love for each other…
Me, well I have to work on the radio so I do not have the space to exercise the above pleasures! But yesterday was different. Apparently while most are hanging out, proposing or honeymooning, there is a group who sit together at the National theatre and try out their luck on the microphone. They sing, they recite poems, someone plays the drum”

Akii displays a picture of Bee Cool, one of Uganda's most prominent reggae artists.

Too Me To Blog reviews an LP, “Expressions”, by Nigeria group Styl-Plus.

“Already familiar with the inner workings of the styl-plus machine, given that I oscillated between fan and hater during the Olufunmi era (for all those that missed it-It was a surreal period in Nigerian history when every Nigerian had this one song stuck in their head), it was good to note that nothing had changed. Production credits still go to the Styl-plus in-house production duo of Sunky and Mekoyo.”

kayshaKaysha posts pictures of his current tour of South Africa. Kaysha is a Congolese born artist currently living in West Indies and has put out four albums.

“Sending a lot of love from Sandton, South Africa… It’s a bit cold, it’s winter here, but I really enjoy the country…
I’ll post photos of my shows in Pretoria, Joburg tonight, Mozambique very soon. I also been in great clubs, thanx to Chivas, like Palms, Taboo, etc…”

Kaysha also has an extensive collection of photos detailing his tours and music activities.
Muki Garang
Muki Garang
wades into the definition of African Hip Hop:

“In Africa it is not clear at all from my research as to what the definition or the characteristic of Hiphop is. Some view it as musical genre, others term is as them, in that, they as individuals are Hiphop and thus form the culture while others do not have an idea at all so they do not bother or most mimic to fall victim to the contemporary bandwagon of ardent trend keepers.My definition of hiphop is based on two schools of thoughts;a) The Evolution b) The imposition.”

Muki Garang goes onto explain and discuss his definition. Good read. Muki has uploaded a few of his videos on for us to enjoy.

Sampsa Daily provides a really good link to a website called Afromix:

“The most extensive discographic database on African and Carribean music. Nearly 2000 artists and more than 5000 albums referenced, organized by musical styles, country, instruments, labels and years. Many links towards artists, labels, festivals sites…”

Afromix is a portal of African and Carribean music and features an extensive discographic database profiling over 2000 artists and referencing 5000 records. Impressive and very informative. Essential bookmark.

John K of J's Theater writes about the African Rap festival that took place in Conakry, Guinea back in April:

“I'm not familiar with many of the groups (well, none other than Neg’ Marrons [see below]), but I would love to see and hear how hiphop is developing and transforming as a musical form and practice in sub-Saharan Africa, especially now that hiphop and rap have become a vital mode of cultural, political and social production across the globe.”

John is interested in more information about the artists and access to their audio/video stuff. Do comment and tell us if you are better informed. More information is available on the festival's website.


  • In regards to music it is quite clear that cultural gatekeepers hve supressed African Genres from growth.Check out terms like “Afro Fusion” “Afro Jazz”,whatg happened to the indengineous names they have in the communities they originated from?

  • polycas

    African music defines all gerners of music.From the drums to the lyrics to the rhythm.It is the root of all music.

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