This year we are launching a new tradition: a year-end show that looks forward rather than back. We'll ask artists and others to tell us about something new they discovered in African music this year, something that points to the future. The answers range from rising-star artists, to changes in the industry, to revelations about artists and styles that have been around, just not noticed. We'll hear from Angelique Kidjo, Dendé, Fally Ipupa and many of the artists we met at WOMEX 2022. Listen to the show here and here is the video playlist Produced by Banning Eyre
Creative Industries Flourish at U.S. Africa Leaders Summit
Afropop Worldwide's executive producer Sean Barlow received hard-to-get Secret Service vetted media credentials to cover the historic, just concluded U.S. Africa Leaders Summit in Washington D.C. President Joe Biden hosted dozens of African heads of state. Themes covered included the primacy of "partnerships," "collaborations," "trade not aid" and "mobilization of the national diasporas in the U.S, to support the growth of economies back home." Also central to their remarks was a focus on the opportunities and challenges represented by the burgeoning under-25 youth wave in Africa, and the advancement of opportunities for women. Read the full report here.
Jake Blount's New Faith
About a year ago, in December 2021, Afropop executive producer Banning Eyre spoke with Jake Blount about his unique exploration of African-American folk music. Blount's 2020 album SpiderTales features inspired reworkings of mostly 19th century songs by overlooked African-American composers. This year, Blount reshuffled the deck with a still more ambitious album, The New Faith (Smithsonian Folkways), which has gained him significant attention and landed him on the cover of Songlines magazine. The New Faith is an Afrofuturistic concept album imagining the religious rituals of a band of African-American survivors following the coming environmental apocalypse, amid a new collection of reimagined Americana songs. Here's their conversation.
Afropop Stars to Watch in 2023
2022 will go down as the year African music broke the Internet. From every corner of the continent, the hits are coming so fast, it's pointless to create a best of 2022 list. African contemporary music now permeates in some form or other every corner of the globe. Tik-Tok dance challenges propelled these following hits into the stratosphere and the global impact of these songs and artists will continue to explode into 2023. Happy Holidays and Enjoy. Check them out here.
Events Around New York
Sat., Jan. 14 The Afro-Latin Jazz Alliance and The Town Hall Present Dizzy, Chano and Chico 8 p.m. Tickets and Information
Afropop Staff: Sean Barlow, Executive Producer Banning Eyre, Senior Editor Michael Jones, Chief Audio Engineer (jonesaudio.com) Mukwae Wabei Siyolwe, Director of New Media and Operations CC Smith, Editor at Large