Show cover of Afropop Worldwide

Afropop Worldwide

Afropop Worldwide is an internationally syndicated weekly radio series, online guide to African and world music, and an international music archive, that has introduced American listeners to the music cultures of Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean since 1988. Our radio program is hosted by Georges Collinet from Cameroon, the radio series is distributed by Public Radio International to 110 stations in the U.S., via XM satellite radio, in Africa via and Europe via Radio Multikulti.


Planet Afropop - Chimurenga Legacy: Thomas Mapfumo and Mary Anibal
Afropop’s Banning Eyre published his prize-winning biography of Thomas Mapfumo, Lion Songs, in 2015. In this episode, he visits the Lion of Zimbabwe at his home in Eugene, Oregon, to discuss new music, the current state of Zimbabwe and more. We hear from Mapfumo’s latest album, Ndikutambire, and sneak previews of works in progress. We also meet 24-year-old Mary Anibal of Harare, a super-talented mbira player, singer/bandleader following in Mapfumo’s footsteps. PA #018
59:32 5/14/24
Ethiopia Part 2: Diaspora and Return
Part 2 of our Hip Deep in Ethiopia series features insights from Professor Kay Shelemay of Harvard University, author most recently of Sing and Sing On: Sentinal Musicians and the Making of the Ethiopian American Diaspora (2022). This episode, originally aired in 2009, takes us into Ethiopian Diaspora communities in the United States and Israel, and also in Addis Ababa itself, where new winds are blowing. Harvard's Kay Kauffman Shelemay and Ethiopiques CD producer Francis Falcetto provide expert insights. We visit Dukem Reastaurant and Nightclub in Washington, DC, and meet singer Hana Shenkute. We also speak with Idan Raichel of Israel. APWW #516
59:04 5/9/24
Ethiopia Part 1: Empire and Revolution
Ethiopia was the first Christian nation in Africa, and the only African country never to be colonized. With ethnomusicologist Kay Kaufman Shelemay and Ethiopian music scholar and compiler Francis Falceto as guests, this Hip Deep program explores the role of the Ethiopian church and monarchy in building the country's unique brassy pop music. We sample the hot sounds of "swinging Addis" on the eve of the 1974 revolution. Produced by Banning Eyre in 2006. APWW #512
59:04 5/7/24
Amapiano To The World
South Africa is one of the biggest dance music nations, and now it seems like the whole world is dancing along to its amapiano (piano/yanos) beats, a genre that blends its kwaito roots with house, jazz and its signature log drum. Afropop Worldwide first explored amapiano’s origins and growing popularity in October 2020. Since then, the genre has seen explosive growth outside of South Africa. A combination of factors, such as: a fresh unique sound, social media, the African diaspora, hard work, and a bit of luck at the right time, has put Amapiano on the global stage. Amapiano is proving to be a genre that has both depth and breadth, but is it here to stay? We tackle this question, and explore how this homegrown sound is winning over the hearts of audiences across the world. We also speak to two of its rising stars: Teno Afrika and Luxury SA. That’s all in this episode, Amapiano to the World. Produced by DJ Kix. APWW #867
59:04 5/2/24
Planet Afropop - Gino Sitson: Cameroonian Renaissance Man
On this episode of Planet Afropop, Georges Collinet interviews fellow Cameroonian Gino Sitson. Sitson is a maverick maestro who blends unique vocal techniques with sounds from classical instruments—cello, violin, double bass—with African traditional elements. You have to hear it to believe it. You will likely share Georges’ amazement. Also, new music from Bamako-based Ivoirian reggae star Tiken Jah Fakoly. His latest album, Acoustic, marks a striking new direction for Fakoly.
51:22 4/30/24
Saving The Malawi Tapes
The Malawi Broadcasting Corporation recorded a goldmine of local music in the 1960s and 70s, but the tapes were neglected and close to ruined when broadcaster Waliko Makhala raised the alarm. With help from the Norwegian embassy and Norwegian broadcaster Sigbjorn Nedland, digitization got underway. In this program, we sample the results guided by Waliko, Sigbjorn and Martin White, curator of African Poems, a website dedicated to preserving poetry from around the continent. Produced by Martin White.
59:04 4/25/24
Thomas Mapfumo Live at SOB's in NYC
In 1991, Thomas Mapfumo and the Blacks Unlimited made their second tour of the United States. It was a fascinating transitional moment in the band’s history. Mapfumo had recently added two musicians playing the metal-pronged, Shona mbira, enriching the band’s lineup of guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, brass and percussion. The band had now evolved into a kind of folk orchestra in which everyone sang, allowing for beautifully layered vocal arrangements. This recording, made by Afropop Worldwide at S.O.B.'s in New York City during that historic tour, is a true gem in the Afropop archive. It captures one of Africa’s most innovative and unusual artists and bandleaders at the height of his powers. One listen to this sublime recording and you will understand why producer Banning Eyre devoted some 15 years to writing the book Lion Songs: Thomas Mapfumo and the Music That Made Zimbabwe.
59:04 4/18/24
Planet Afropop - Rachid Taha: African Punk Ghost
In this episode, producer Elodie Maillot in Paris reviews the career of mercurial Algerian-French singer, composer and activist Rachid Taha, who died in 2018. With remembrances from producers Steve Hillage, Justin Adams and others, the podcast brings to life a singular life and musical career. Taha merged rock and rai music, love poetry and fierce critique, gentle sensitivity and world-weary toughness. Today, his impact continues to grow. And even though the artist is now gone - his musical ghost is hunting our memories.
51:02 4/16/24
Thomas Mapfumo - The War Years
This Hip Deep edition explores the legendary early career of Thomas Mapfumo, a singer, composer and bandleader whose 1970s music set the stage for the birth of a new nation, Zimbabwe. Using rare, unreleased recordings, and recollections by Mapfumo, key band members, and prominent Zimbabweans who lived through the liberation struggle, this program traces the development of chimurenga music. Central to the program, are research materials gathered by Mapfumo biographer Banning Eyre, and commentary by ethnomusicologist Thomas Turino, author of Nationalists, Cosmopolitans, and Popular Music in Zimbabwe. One of the great stories of African music’s role in history is told here as never before.
59:04 4/11/24
From Nashville to Nairobi: The History of Country Music in Kenya
In this episode, we'll trace the history of country music, highlighting the often-overlooked contributions of Black artists and fans. We'll travel to Kenya to meet rising country stars who are bringing their own unique sounds to the genre. Hear their takes on the hits of Don Williams, Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, and more. We'll also explore the history of Black country music with music historian Elijah Wald. Tune in for an interview and performance from Kenyan country singer Steve Rogers, radio and TV presenters Catherine Ndonye and David Kimitho, and Olvido Records founder Gordon Ashworth. Produced by Brandi Howell. APWW #853
59:04 4/4/24
Planet Afropop - ARB: Nigeria’s Alternative Reflective Beats
In this episode, Planet Afropop’s Lagos correspondent Fay Fay profiles a unique multi-generational band on the Nigerian scene: Alternative Reflective Beats (ARB). True to their name, ARB's music embodies the vibrant rhythms of Afrobeat intertwined with a fusion of other genres. Their mission is to maintain their distinct musical identity while creating songs that appeal to both live audiences and streaming enthusiasts. By staying true to this vision, the band aspires to establish longevity in the industry.
42:43 4/2/24
Women's History Month: Umm Kulthum - The Voice of Egypt
Umm Kulthum has been called the greatest singer in the Arabic speaking world in the 20th century. Born in 1904 the humble daughter of an Egyptian village imam, she went on to become a glamorous Cairo celebrity in her 20s, and soon after that, a cultural icon whose monthly live radio broadcasts brought much of Egypt to a standstill. She turned high poetry into popular culture. She extended musical forms with her virtuoso, extended vocal improvisations. Combining historical, religious, literary and musical passions, she inspired an enduring sense of national pride and left a legacy for the ages. Millions gathered for her 1975 funeral. With Umm Kulthum biographer Virginia Danielson as guide and guest, this program explores the life and music of a musical legend. Produced by Banning Eyre. APWW #465
59:04 3/28/24
Women's History Month: Afropop Women Warriors
This program focuses on four female artists whose music is full of challenging messages for a challenged world. Climate change, womens’ empowerment, police brutality, official corruption… All that and more in new work from Angelique Kidjo, Dobet Gnaore, Fatoumata Diaouara and Shungudzo, plus a dive into Octavia Butler’s prescient cautionary tales with Toshi Reagon. Produced by Banning Eyre. APWW #827
59:00 3/21/24
Planet Afropop - Singeli Jumps and Rumba Swings in Tanzania!
Afropop Worldwide took 24 adventurous listeners to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, and Zanzibar in February. In this episode, Dar music veteran and aficionado John Kitime takes us through highlights, including the frenetic and risqué singeli music-and-dance craze currently electrifying the country. We also get Kitime's unique insider perspective, and some deep history, on Swahili rumba, still going strong in Dar Es Salaam nightclubs. PA #014
54:29 3/19/24
Women's History Month: Four Women of the West
In West Africa, women are on the cutting edge of musical and cultural progress. This program looks at four singer/composers with roots in tradition and unique ideas about how to keep them current in the fast-changing milieu of today’s African music. Mali’s Fatoumata Diawara keeps her focus on messages, mixing traditional sounds and rock idioms to reach young audiences. Senegal’s Aida Samb is finding new avenues for that country’s trademark mbalax sound, including collaborations with Afrobeats stars like Wizkid. Elida Almeida of Cape Verde has emerged as a freewheeling composer, able to draw on whatever influences she likes, and it’s working for fans of all generations. And Benin’s Angelique Kidjo, never one to sit back on her many successes, has covered Talking Heads’ 1980 album Remain in Light, in its entirety, re-Africanizing a rock classic for a new time. We’ll speak with all four artists, and hear their latest music. Produced by Banning Eyre
59:04 3/14/24
Women's History Month: Cheikha Rimitti, Rebel Queen of Algerian Music
Cheikha Rimitti was certainly a queen. For some, she was the queen of raï (pronounced RYE), which means “opinion" in Arabic. For others, she was the queen of freedom, an Algerian Statue of Liberty wielding the fire of independence, as she sang daringly and frankly about love, sexuality, poverty, drinking and oppression. She defied taboos and her music was often banned. She used to say that "misfortune was her teacher” but she became an international star who died at 86, two days after a sold-out show! However, it might be too simple to portray Rimitti only in this iconic role. She was even more than a musical and cultural queen, and she still lives on in many hearts. Rimitti would have been 100 in 2023 - and yet the Algerian diva is still praised and remixed by a young new generation of artists. In this episode, we’ll journey through Rimitti’s rocky life and we’ll meet her musical progeny. Produced by Elodie Maillot. APWW #870
59:04 3/7/24
Planet Afropop - South Africa in the Green Room: Bongeziwe and Bakithi
Bongeziwe Mabandla is a maverick South African singer-songwriter whose music draws on many of his country’s rich styles, but cannot be reduced to any of them. Along with his Mozambican producer Tiago Correira Paulo, he has developed a unique, keyboard-driven sound with deep, meditative textures. Planet Afropop’s Mukwae Wabei Siyolwe calls it “music you can dance to, pray to, cry to, and celebrate to.” In this episode Mukwae speaks with Bongeziwe and Tiago as they are about to embark on a world tour. The episode concludes with Graceland bassman Bakithi Kumalo, talking and playing from his home studio in advance of his participation in Camp Afropop in May 2024. PA #013
44:37 3/5/24
Women's History Month: Afropop Women of Note
To kick off Women's History Month, DJ Kix returns with Georges Collinet to take us on a musical journey across Africa, showcasing some of the continent’s formidable women who are quickly rising in the industry and making their presence known. In this episode, we’ll hear from: top Namibian MC, Lioness; Zimbabwean Afro-fusion artist, Gemma Griffiths; as well as Kaleo Sansaa from Zambia with her “sun-drunk” sounds and “solar-based” hip-hop; alongside Hibotep’s experimental East African electro vibes and Rhita Nattah’s Aissaoua-influenced Moroccan tunes. We’re delving deep into what it’s like being a woman in the ever-evolving and fast-paced contemporary African music scene. All this plus an incredible playlist of music by women who are breaking the mold in their own way, and inspiring all. Produced by DJ Kix APWW #852
59:04 2/29/24
Black History Month: The African American String Music Tradition
There’s been a lot of speculation about the chain of musical events that link the blues back to Africa. Most of that chain is unrecorded and shrouded in mystery. But there is one chapter, just before the blues, that we do know quite a lot about. That’s the history of African-American string bands. This program explores the history, with music and memories from a special guest: the late string maestro Howard Armstrong. Along the way, we hear music from Canray Fontenot, Blind James Campbell, Hobard Smith and other legends of this little-known chapter in American folk and popular music. Produced by Banning Eyre. APWW #326
59:04 2/22/24
Planet Afropop - Mas Carnaval in Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe
The season of Carnival (Carnaval), in Guadeloupe brings the unmistakable sounds of music from the local culture clubs to the streets like no other carnival in the world. Every Sunday from the new year to Ash Wednesday, The islanders take turns showing off their cultural traditions. Enslaved Africans, were prohibited from assembling because of Article 16 of the “Code Noir” promulgated by the King of France, Louis XIV, in 1685. After the abolition of slavery on the islands in 1848, They have been reorganizing by marching the streets with displays of traces of pre-colonial Arawak sounds of conches and the drumming and the singing of chants of their traditional folk music called Gwoka. In Pointe-à-Pitre “Ben Démaré" or in the sea, is a purification ritual for the “skin clubs”, which kicks off Carnival. Young men take to the streets with traditional whips used on their ancestors during enslavement and have created a counter-culture in their display of whipping the ground - reconciling the past present, and future. Mukwae Wabei Siyolwe was a special guest of Harry Durimel, the environmental lawyer and Mayor of Point a Pitre, and she experienced the Carnival, or Mas as it is called in Guadeloupe, from a unique perspective. She was at Place de la Victoire on Dimanche Gras the biggest gathering of the islands, bringing thousands onto the streets of Pointe-à-Pitre in the run-up to Lent. Produced by Mukwae Wabei Siyolwe. PA #012
45:40 2/20/24
Black History Month: The Black History of the Banjo
This program traces the history of this most American of instruments from its ancestors in West Africa through the Caribbean and American South and into the present, as a new generation of Black women artists reclaim the banjo as their own. Rhiannon Giddens, Bassekou Kouyate, Bela Fleck and more talk claw-hammers, trad jazz, Appalachian folk, African ancestors and the on-going story of American music, which would be woefully incomplete without a Black history of the banjo. Produced by Ben Richmond.
59:04 2/15/24
Black History Month: The Black History of Tap Dancing
Foundational for Broadway and the movies, intertwined with jazz, tap dancing is a Great American Art. Strap on your shoes and shuffle along as we trace the history of tap and celebrate the Black artists and innovators who built--and continue to build--this art form. From its murky origins melding African percussion and Anglo-Irish step dancing, to tap's golden age and its ongoing evolution. Produced by Ben Richmond.
59:04 2/8/24
Planet Afropop - Syli D’Or Winners And Artists For Aid
Every winter, starting in February, the organizers of the annual Nuits D’Afrique festival put on a battle of the Afropop bands. Bands face off, three a night at Club Balatou, and the audience votes a winner for the night. Eventually, the field comes down to nine finalists, and that’s when we at Afropop are asked to pick the winner of the Afropop prize from those nine acts. So as the festival is about to kick off again this year,we thought it would be great to honor the 2023 winners. The big winner of the entire contest was an awesome Afro-Latin band called Team Salsa Quintet. We'll also feature a visit with a group of young Algerian immigrants in Montreal - the band is called Afirka. And we'll wrap up with a report from correspondent Harrison Malkin on the recent Artist for Aid event in Newark, New Jersey. It was a star-studded evening aimed at raising awareness and funds for the victims of violence in Gaza and Sudan.
52:15 2/6/24
Black History Month: The Ring and The Shout
This Hip Deep episode presents the stunning radio premiere of "Oh, David," the traditional song of the annual Easter Rock in Winnsboro, Louisiana. The Easter Rock is in fact a surviving ringshout—the oldest known form of African American music—but it's about 600 miles west of the ringshout's heartland in Georgia. It's located across the Mississippi River from Vicksburg in the Louisiana Delta, where they don't call it a "ringshout," but a “rock.” And it totally rocks. Producer Ned Sublette attends the Easter Rock ceremony and talks with Dr. Joyce Marie Jackson, a scholar and Louisiana native, who has been working with the Rockers for almost 20 years and confirms their tradition as a direct musical link to slavery days. In Athens, Georgia, Sublette visits Art Rosenbaum, producer of recordings by Georgia's McIntosh County Shouters, and more. Produced by Ned Sublette. APWW #734
59:04 2/1/24
Afropop Cover Songs
In today’s pop music, everybody is a composer. But what about the classics? The songs that last? In this program we survey African musicians reinterpreting each other’s songs, as well as songs from far outside their traditions. And we hear foreign takes on African diaspora music. From Louis Armstrong’s “Skokiaan” to Alpha Blondy’s “Whole Lotta Love,” it’s a journey of discovery and rediscovery. Produced by Banning Eyre. APWW #854
59:04 1/25/24
Planet Afropop - Moh! Kouyate: A Conversation with a Global Griot
Moh Kouyate is a Guinean guitarist/singer/songwriter descending from a line of griots (jalis) in West Africa. As listeners heard in the Afropop Worldwide program Global Griots in France, he has lived in Paris since 2006, collaborating with a wide range of artists from genres far outside his traditional art. In this episode, Banning Eyre speaks with Moh about his adventurous life, and particularly, his ground-breaking, new acoustic album, Mokhôya. Also, fellow Guinean artist Natu Camara gives a shoutout about her upcoming visit to Camp Afropop, May 28-31, 2024 near Woodstock, New York.
45:18 1/23/24
The Nyege Nyege Villa - East African Hub of the Electronic Music Underground
In 2018, the renowned music journal Fact boldly claimed that “the world’s best electronic music festival is in Uganda.” In only a few years, Nyege Nyege has indeed become one of the hottest artistic hubs in East Africa, birthing two music labels that propelled local scenes, such as Ugandan acholitronix or Tanzanian singeli, across the globe. At the heart of this explosive universe lies a big house, known as “the Villa,” that almost constantly vibrates with sounds as musicians from the region and beyond tirelessly produce, exchange skills, and frenetically party until dawn. Despite reducing the Villa’s bubbling flow, COVID-19 didn’t silence it, and the house kept on nurturing its community of underground musicians. In this episode, producer Basile Koechlin takes us to the Villa to meet current residents and other members of the Nyege Nyege nebula. Through a patchwork of stories, soundscapes, and fresh musical releases, we hear more about this unique and strange place that came to host and generate a seminal part of the avant-garde of electronic music production in East Africa. APWW #843
59:04 1/18/24
Calypso, Reggae and Jab-Jab Soca: Musical Resistance in Grenada
Calypso and reggae have been mainstays of Grenada’s musical culture, until the emergence of the distinctive Carnival-based offshoot known as jab-jab soca, and more recent hybrid forms embraced by a younger generation of musical practitioners. On this program, we explore how the island’s tempestuous history has influenced its dynamic music scene, with testimony from leading Grenadian music figures, including calypso kings Ajamu and Black Wizard, members of the innovative group Moss International, jab-jab soca pioneers Tallpree and Mr Killa, and upcoming artists such as Sabrina Francis, a rising star who draws on soul, jazz, R&B and folk elements. Produced by David Katz APWW #856
59:04 1/11/24
Planet Afropop - A Conversation with Okwy Osadebe
Okwy Osadebe is the son of Nigerian Igbo highlife legend Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe. In this lively conversation with Georges Collinet and Eme Awa, of WOWD Radio in Takoma Park, we learn about the life, music and legacy of Okwy’s late father. We also learn about Okwy’s life in the United States, and his new album Igbo Amaka, and hear tracks from both father and son. It’s a Nigerian highlife extravaganza for the 21st century.
58:06 1/9/24
The Fertile Crescent of Music: Haiti, Cuba, and New Orleans
In 1809, the population of New Orleans doubled almost overnight because of French-speaking refugees from Cuba. You read that right-- French-speaking refugees from Cuba -- part of a wave of music and culture that emigrated from east to west in the wake of the Haitian Revolution. We'll look at the distinct African roots of these three regions, and compare what their musics sound like today. This Hip Deep program, originally broadcast in 2005, is being repeated in memoriam the pathbreaking historian Gwendolyn Midlo Hall (1929-2022), who gave us the tools to understand the making of Afro-Louisiana. Produced by Ned Sublette. APWW #467
59:04 1/4/24

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