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Africa’s Unconventional Musicians

Aida Mbowa | MAIL & GUARDIAN AFRICA   in 
July 25, 2014

Artistes on the continent are making some of the most creative musical choice–and taking away some ecstatic audiences with them.

THE description “world music” is a lazy catchall for sounds and musical artistes who defy categorisation and who produce sounds that are innovative and unconventional in global popular culture. Yet, this category captures many of the artistes on the African continent making some of the most creative musical choices.

Whether fusing northern Ugandan spoken word culture with rap and hip-hop like the Bila Wa movement, or inventing a genre called “gospel porn rap” like Ghana’s FOKN bois, African artistes around the continent are making music in exciting ways. Some of these artistes and styles are popular and they have received global recognition. Others are still burgeoning and have small followings in underground circles. Nevertheless, all of them have one thing in common – through their lyrics, their sounds, or their personas, they all earn the label “unconventional.”


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