rina mushonga’s afro-electro delivers
Catharsis is not an easy feeling to describe, but if there is a sound that came close to reproducing that feeling, it has to be the inspired merging of Afrobeats and Indie-electro by Dutch-Zimbabwean singer/songwriter Rina Mushonga. The singer draws inspiration from her upbringing in Harare, as well as her time living in Amsterdam and Peckham, South London, where she currently resides. Mushonga’s broad range of influences includes Greek mythology and literature, which she incorporates in her music to create a distinct sound that also serves as a device for working through the “rootlessness” attached to a blended heritage.
“My life always felt very cross-pollinated, but being half European and half African sometimes I felt I was asked to choose which I identified with the most—like I had to pick a side. It was pretty excruciating—especially as within my family unit it was never about that—one or the other—my Dad always called us global citizens, with pride. We belonged everywhere. I loved that, I identified with that—I didn’t have to choose… My music doesn’t have to choose to express anything but myself—a little bit of this, a little bit of that—and it’s that mix of genres that best represents me, how I see things and experience the world and consequently how I express myself.”
Mushonga’s latest single, “4qrtrs,” feels how color sounds, incorporating the natural soundtrack of Peckham with African percussion transformed by a catchy electro-pop beat which turns the entire song into the feeling of taking your hands off the bicycle handlebars during an exhilarating downhill ride. “4qrtrs” captures and elevates the vibrancy found in Afrobeats and in Electro, transforming and combining each into a whimsical and personal musical tribute to a journey that induces a warm sense of nostalgia with every listen.
“‘4qrtrs’ has been prodded, poked and teased into existence. Parts of it belonged to my old, discarded songs, other bits and pieces I wrote more recently. It’s become this weird collage or map of where I’ve been, emotionally and geographically. ”
“4qrtrs” feels like a sonic embodiment of Mushonga’s stylistic independence. A celebration of a sound and feel she can confidently call her own.
french disco punk collective 10lec6 takes it to a whole other plane with ‘bone bame’
Calling their style Bulupunk, the French disco punk collective mixes dance beats, experimental electronica, hardcore punk, and Cameroonian music on their debut record. It’s an exhilerating mix that 10LEC6 pulls off like it’s nothing. (Their name is pronounced dix – lec – six in French to sound like “dyslexics” in English, which to a bi-lingual dyslexic like me is just ow my fucking brain… Though bonus points for a good multi-lingual pun.) Singer Nicole sings, raps, and shouts in her native Bulu over rhythms that demand your attention on the dance floor. Highlights like “Ayong Ya Yop” merge the bands billion sonic roots seamlessly, while they find life on the hardcore classic “Augusta.”
Bone Bame drops March 9th on Ed Banger. Meanwhile, check out their debut single “Bejdem Mebok” and their documentary short. If this doesn’t fuck your head up right, you’re not playing it loud enough.
video premiere: celebrate a woman’s strength with congolese singer pierre kwenders’ “makanda”
Pierre Kwenders is redefining world music. Born in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and living in Montreal since he was teenager, Kwenders’ musical influence span all across the globe. Rooted in African tradition, the singer’s latest album MAKANDA at the End of Space, the Beginning of Time uses lyrics in four different languages, boasting a Afrocentric but global vision for the future.
His latest music video is for the titular song “Makanda,” and tells the story of the feminine energy that carried Kwenders’ through his life.
“I was raised by my Mother with the help of my Aunts and Grandmother,” Kwenders explains. “My life without that strong feminine energy would have very little meaning. This film is simply the story of a young woman working hard, training harder and fighting. I wanted to make a video about the strength of a woman. That is what Makanda is.”
Take a look at the inspirational video below, and check out the full album here!