On Air

with Rupert Palmer

“Baba Ayoola” is an invitation to celebrate life from the London jazz band, now firmly established at the top of the exciting new English scene.  

After the rapturous global reception for their track “Carry Me Home,” accumulating more than 3 million online listens, KOKOROKO’s new single keeps the bar very high. “Baba Ayoola” is a tribute to saxophonist Cassie Kinoshi’s grandfather and, by the group’s own admission, an invitation to celebrate life.

Opening to the vocal harmonies from the band’s three leaders (Sheila, Cassie and Richie), this new track is carried by delicate drums and percussion alongside subtle keyboard lines. Enchanting guitar riffs sparkle through a melodic bass line, enhanced by the powerful brass section and gospel-like harmonies. All this results in an exhilarating crescendo. A warm and shimmering melodic atmosphere, perfect for the Fall season.

The track “Baba Ayoola” is available via Brownswood Recordings.

Écoutez KOKOROKO dans notre playlist Songs of the Week sur Spotify et Deezer.

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The late Van Halen axe-slayer - who passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer in October - has become the first guitarist to be recognised with the accolade in memoriam for his contribution to the history of guitar playing.

The National GUITAR Museum said in a statement: "It is perhaps fitting that we don't need to explain why Eddie is deserving of such an honour, everyone who has ever heard his guitar playing knows. Eddie certainly would have received this award at some point in the future, as it seemed that he still had a lifetime of guitar greatness to give.

"Several of the people we've honoured over the past decade have left us in the years since we presented them with the award. In this case, however, the sadness of Eddie Van Halen's passing is somehow harder to accept.

"Thanks, Eddie. We only wish we could deliver this in person."

Previous recipients include Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi and the late B.B. King and Glen Campbell.

Meanwhile, Slash recently hailed Halen for his "pure musical talent".

The Guns N' Roses guitarist heaped praise on the rock legend for his "phenomenal" technical ability and insisted there aren’t many other "rock'n'rollers” who have that level of nuance in their playing.

He said: “Any instrument he had chosen to play would have been phenomenal, because he just had that pure musical talent. And he chose guitar, because that’s what turned him on.

“And for somebody with that kind of musical talent to get turned on to rock‘n’roll guitar was sort of unique unto itself, because most of us guitar players are a ragged bunch of rock‘n’rollers who don’t have too much technical ability or schooling. We just sort of go for this raw thing. And he had that, but he also had this musical, sort of classical gift.”
Slash added: “So he was just an amazing artist, period.”

After becoming the guardian of traditions, the Malian rapper disregards slander and safeguards against misinformation. “Je gère” is the first single from her album, to be released at the beginning of next year.

Manabou, the main character and the guardian of traditions, criss-crosses the region, making sure that messages and information, wherever they come from, are spread in their exactness, without any distortion along the way. Ami Yerewolo uses her striking flow to denounce slander, distorted words and fake news. This first cut from her album (on the Othantiq AA label, founded by Cameroonian artist Blick Bassy) is enough to make the patriarchy tremble with fear. The feminist rapper and activist blends her own style with hip-hop and trap sounds, provingonce again that the future of African hip-hop is female.

In this new video, Ami once again deals with the gossip that breaks up friendships, family and relationships. “Misinterpretation, gossip and the distortion of out of context statements can sometimes lead to irreversible conflicts,” she adds. This is no easy task for a woman from a conservative family, one who wasn’t blessed to come from a line of griots. To achieve her career and become one of the first Malian rappers, she had to create her own status, to spare herself the “rotten men of the Malian music industry” who rarely programmed her in balani shows. Independent and ambitious, the slinger fights sexism on the ground and has spoken her mind from the beginning.

Listen to Ami Yerewolo in our Women Power playlist on Spotify and Deezer.

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