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Sunday, January 10, 2010

First Look: Angelique Kidjo's OYO CD

Written By: Nani Hapa—I am really looking forward to the February 9th release of Angelique Kidjo's album, OYO! The cover definitely stands out, but I wouldn't expect any different from the woman who Time Magazine deemed "Africa's premier diva." Click on the "Read More" link for the details from her press release.
On her new album, Kidjo revisits the music that was instrumental in her artistic formation in Benin, the country whose communist dictatorship she fled in the early '80s. Razor & Tie will release the disc, entitled OYO, on February 9, 2010. Although OYO is primarily comprised of covers, the music is instantly recognizable as Kidjo's: The first thing one hears at the outset of the album is her breathtaking voice, long-sustaining the first word of "Zelie," a song written by Bella Bellow from Togo. There are various other African songs, including "Lakutshn Llanga," a lullaby made famous by Kidjo's hero, Miriam Makeba, and the Beninese traditional song "Atcha Houn." Many tracks reveal the prevalence of American soul and funk in the port city of Cotonou, where Kidjo grew up: She duets with John Legend and is joined by the horns of Antibalas on Curtis Mayfield's "Move On Up," offers Yoruban interpretations of Otis Redding's "I've Got Dreams to Remember" and Santana's "Samba Pa Ti," collaborates with Diane Reeves on the Aretha Franklin hit, "Baby I Love You," and also takes on James Brown's "Cold Sweat." Other highlights include the Sidney Bechet tune "Petite Fleur," a favorite of Kidjo's father, who passed away last year, and "Dil Main Chuppa Ke Pyar Ka," the theme song of a Bollywood film they saw together some ten times.
With the release of new material from two powerhouses—Sade and Angelique Kidjo—2010 is shaping out to be a great year for music from African women. Can't wait!


Myne Whitman said...

OYO, OYO the city or On Your Own? LOL. Feb is sure the month for African Divas.