Afropop worldwide is your source for music and stories from the African planet. We explore the the world through sound, from the ancient past to the cutting edge present, combining music, history, and culture. Distributed by PRI.
Changüí is a little understood, loose and lively, community-based music of eastern Cuba. In this program we sample recordings from the 2021 box set Changüí: The Sound of Guantánamo, and hear from Gianluca Tramontana, the man who made the recordings. Rooted in Afro-Haitian music, pan-Caribbean styles, Spanish poetic traditions and more, Changüí emerged in the mid 19th century in plantations, not unlike the blues. We also hear from musician and scholar Ben Lapidus, author of the only English language book on Changüí, and we update the story with Changüí fusions into jazz, salsa and hip-hop. Prepare to dance!
Produced by Banning Eyre in 2021
Making Waves: A Congolese Guitarist Tests His Range
When Siama Matazungidi first heard soukous music on the radio in Kinshasa, Congo, it was as if the keys to a technicolor world of sound had landed in his lap. Though Siama’s father wanted him to pursue the pious (and stable) life of priesthood, it was the guitar that became his place of prayer, and the dream of soukous stardom his calling. Of course, the pathway to manifesting a dream is never without detours and diversions. This is the story of Siama reaching beyond himself to create African music in America that connects audiences across time, traditions and generations. Produced and narrated by Abë Levine.
The Zim Dancehall Story
Inspired by Jamaica’s dancehall music from the 90s and early 2000s, Zimbabwean dancehall music (Zimdancehall) started out as an underground subculture in the ghettos of Zimbabwe and is now the country’s most popular genre.
In this episode we’ll trace the subgenre’s rocky rise to the top and meet some of its founding pioneers: the likes of producer, Jusa Dementor, and recording artist, Sniper Storm. We’ll also explore the hidden layers behind the upbeat party tunes to reveal questions about: social class, language, originality and cultural authenticity; and how these underlying factors may play into Zimdancehall’s prospects in the international music market.
It’s a fascinating story of resistance and persistence—it’s the Zimdancehall story.
Produced by Christine "DJ Kix" Mwaturura
858 Oromo Music: Historical Memory and Competing Visions in Ethiopia
858 Oromo Music: Historical Memory and Competing Visions in Ethiopia by Afropop Worldwide
Black To The Future
Sometimes music can take you to places you've never imagined! That’s what Afrofuturism does.… Afrofuturism is a cultural aesthetic that explores the intersection of African culture with science fiction, technology and the future, fusing magical realism with the beauty of Africa, beyond the clichés. The term was originally coined by Mark Dery (an American journalist working for The Washington Post & Rolling Stone). From the start, Afrofuturism was a child of music, born in the ‘60’s in the boundless mind of Sun Ra, and it still shines in today’s music of American artists such as Janelle Monae. Nowadays, Afrofuturism is flourishing in Europe and in Africa, constantly revitalized by artists who offer new perspectives to expand our idea of Africa. In this episode, we explore this boundless inner space and George Collinet is trans-connected to a futuristic nebula through a patchwork of stories, soundscapes, and various avant-garde music productions from the cosmos and elsewhere. The episode includes interviews with Ibaaku, Blick Bassy, Ikoqwe, Djely Tapa, Shabaka, Mélissa Laveaux, Afrotronix, plus Angélique Kidjo & Yemi Alade. Produced by Elodie Maillot.
Toronto's African Scene
Toronto is Canada’s most cosmopolitan city--“like New York but mellower” in the words of Kofi Akah, son of the Ghanaian highlife legend Jewel Akah. Kofi is one of many superb African artists who have made Toronto their home over the years. That list is long, and it has included highlife star Pat Thomas, South Sudanese rapper Emanuel Jal, rising Congolese star Blandine, Malagasy guitarist Donné Roberts, and a hidden treasure of Ethiopian music, Fantahun Shewankochew. In this program, we take the pulse of Toronto’s African scene through music and interviews with Kofi, Emanuel, Blandine, Fantahun and many more.
Produced by Banning Eyre