Straight from Africa
The weight of African music cannot be underestimated and appears to become ever more current and influential, in all its styles. Listen to the latest music of Stromae or Dutch band Bruut!, for example.
Where most internationally acclaimed African acts found their way via Europe, where artists settled or were represented, the most interesting and successful music now finds its way directly to us, thanks to the digital revolution. Artists like Burna Boy and WizKid are conquering the world, including the US, from their home country Nigeria.
At NN North Sea Jazz, a powerful representation from Nigerian pop can be seen, with singers Tiwa Savage and Tems, in whose cosmopolitan sound African elements can be recognized, like the typical percussion (please note the balafon!).
African jazz musicians are also noted more and more by the media and the music scene. Nduduzo Makhatini is the first South-African musician signed on by legendary jazz label Blue Note Records. In his work the swaying rhythms and characteristic horns from southern Africa can be heard in multiple guises, just like with omnivorous keyboard player Bokani Dyer, who found a huge fan in BBC Radio-dj Gilles Peterson, as well as with trombonist Malcolm Jiyane, whose album was elected Best Album last year in The Guardian. Singer Zoë Modiga from South Africa is a striking personality and for lovers of the bass guitar, Alune Wade from Senegal is a must-see.