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African Soul- World Music... Part 5 Salif Keita

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Salif Keïta (born August 25, 1949) is an internationally recognized afro-pop singer-songwriter from Mali. He is unique not only because of his reputation as the Golden Voice of Africa, but because he has albinism and is a direct descendant of the founder of the Mali Empire, Sundiata Keita.

Keita was born in the city of Djoliba. He was cast out by his family and ostracized by the community because of his albinism, a sign of bad luck in Mandinka culture

Keita moved to Paris in 1984 to reach a larger audience. His music combines traditional West African music styles with influences from both Europe and the Americas, while maintaining an overall Islamic style. Musical instruments that are commonly featured in Keita's work include balafons, djembes, guitars, koras, organs, saxophones, and synthesizers. In 1990, Keita contributed "Begin the Beguine" to the Cole Porter tribute/AIDS benefit album Red Hot + Blue produced by the Red Hot Organization.

Listen to 'Africa' below- makes you want to dance

Salif Keita - 'Africa'

African Soul- World Music...Part 4 Oumou Sangaré

Friday, 25 March 2011

Oumou Sangaré  (born February 25, 1968, in Bamako, Mali) is a Malian Wassoulou musician, sometimes referred to as "The Songbird of Wassoulou." Wassoulou is a historic region south of the Niger River, and the music there is descended from traditional hunting songs, and is accompanied by a calabash. Her mother was the singer Aminata Diakité.
She is an advocate for women's rights, opposing child marriage and polygamy.
As a child, Oumou Sangaré sang in order to help her mother feed their family as her father had abandoned them. At the age of five, she was well known for her talents as a gifted singer. 
Oumou Sangaré is considered an ambassador of Wassoulou; her music has been inspired by the music and traditional dances of the region. She writes and composes her songs, which often include social criticism, especially concerning the place of women and their low position in society.
Her voice is heavenly, and her songs are just beautiful.
Listen to one of her songs below
Oumou Sangaré 'Moussolou'

African Soul-World Music...Baaba Maal Part 3

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Baaba Maal (born November 12, 1953) is a Senegalese singer and guitarist born in Podor, on the Senegal River. In addition to acoustic guitar, he also plays percussion. He has released several albums, both for independent and major labels.

Baaba sings primarily in Pulaar and is the foremost promoter of the traditions of the Pulaar-Fula language speaking peoples who live on either side of the Senegal River in the ancient Senegalese kingdom of Futa Tooro.
In 1998, Mal recorded "Bess, You Is My Woman Now" for the Red Hot Organization’s compilation album Red Hot + Rhapsody a tribute to George Gershwin which raised money for various charities devoted to increasing AIDS awareness and fighting the disease.In 2002, Maal again worked with the Red Hot Organization and appeared on a track titled "No Agreement" along side Res, Tony Allen, Ray Lema, Positive Black Soul and Archie Shepp for the tribute album to Fela Kuti,Red Hot + Riot.
He also featured on two tracks "Hunger" and "Still" on the Black Hawk Down (film) soundtrack.
Listen to 'Television' below and watch the video-nice and colourful.
Baaba Maal 'Television'

African Soul- World Music...Youssou N'Dour- Part 2

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Youssou N'Dour; born 1 October 1959 is a Senegalese singer, percussionist and occasional actor. In 2004, Rolling Stone described him as, in Senegal and much of Africa, "perhaps the most famous singer alive." He helped develop a style of popular music in Senegal, known in the Serer language as mbalax.

He is the subject of the award-winning films Return to Goree directed by Pierre-Yves Borgeaud and Youssou N'Dour: I Bring What I Love directed by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, which were released theatrically around the world.

Youssou N'Dour was born in Dakar. He began performing at the age of 12. He is one of the most celebrated African musicians in history. A renowned singer, songwriter, and composer, Youssou's mix of traditional Senegalese mbalax with eclectic influences ranging from Cuban samba to hip hop, jazz, and soul has won him an international fan base of millions. 

In the West, Youssou has collaborated with musicians Peter Gabriel, Sting, Neneh Cherry, Wyclef Jean, Paul SimonBruce SpringsteenTracy Chapman, Dido and others. In Senegal, Youssou is a powerful cultural icon actively involved in social issues.

Listen to one of my favourite songs ever!

Youssou N'Dour and Rokia Traoré Birima "Africa Live: Roll back Malaria" Geneva, 2005

African Soul- World Music... Part 1

Monday, 21 March 2011

We will be writing about world music and the artistes we like...in upcoming blog posts. Also one of our many inspirations is- The Fulani tribe of Western Africa, and because we are in a creative mode right now we will be listening to African soul or Nomadic Soul as Baaba Maal of Senegal calls it. The colour and the rich texture of these musicians voices and culture will hopefully inspire us to build a collection that will reflect and explore the colourful/richness of the Fulani culture and dress sense in all its glory.

Music is universal and below Rokia Traoré proves this with her rich soulful voice.

Rokia Traoré 

Rokia Traoré (born January 24, 1974) is a Victoires de la Musique award-winning Malian singer, songwriter and guitarist. Born in Mali as a member of the Bambara ethnic group, her father was a diplomat and she travelled widely in her youth. She visited such countries as AlgeriaSaudi ArabiaFrance and Belgium and was exposed to a wide variety of influences. Her hometown of Kolokaniis in the northwestern part of Mali's Koulikoro region. 

Unusually for a female musician in Africa, Rokia plays acoustic guitar as well as sings, and she uses vocal harmonies in her arrangements which are rare in Malian music. 
As well as guitar she plays ngoni (lute) and balafon.
Listen to her music below

Rokia Traoré WOMAD 2004 Adelaide, Australia

Arise Magazine Fashion Show... Designers we like...

Friday, 18 March 2011

Lanre DaSilva-Ajayi- her collection was called 'The Modern Age' love the girly-lacy feel to the collection

Deola Sagoe as always... did not dissapoint- the use of  Aso oke and lace worked well.

Klûk CGDT- A little bit of everything- love the collection


Finally, Zed Eye! Again feeling the lacy touch, loooove it

"Fashion, as we knew it, is over; people wear now exactly what they feel like wearing" Mary Quant (Part 1)

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Alheri's Maali street style fashion show was part of American University of Nigeria Shuffle Entertainment company. The collection was not just about fashion... but individualism, style, free thought and pan Africanism- In recent times in Nigeria, the youths have decided to take a stance and register to vote... they have decided to wear what they feel most comfortable with... and also have a voice in fashion, music and politics.

Maali created a collection that reflects all of these. This collection consists of pop colour brights as well as African prints that show and reflect plenty of energy, fun, and youthfulness. Pictures coming soon...

Maali also took part in a fashion charity show at the University of Bradford UK.

University of Bradford Red Ribbon Society Fashion Show (personal) pictures below.

I Met...Chimamanda Adichie.....

Sunday, 13 March 2011


Ok so...Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is like the female Chinua Achebe or Wole Soyinka of Nigeria. This chic was actually born in Nigeria and schooled in Nigeria so obviously her grammar was perfect (ha ha) her Igbo also (her native language) was perfect, and she had great poise and proved that she deserved to win that Orange Prize for fiction. For those who don't know her, this is a little bio....Born in the town of Enugu, she grew up in the university town of Nsukka in South-Eastern Nigeria, where the University of Nigeria is situated. While she was growing up, her father was a professor of statistics at the University, and her mother worked there as the university registrar. She later moved to the United States for college and she completed a master's degree in creative writing at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. In 2008, she received a Master of Arts in African studies at Yale University.

Her published books include, Purple Hibiscus, was published in 2003, then Half Of A Yellow Sun was published in  2006 and earned her the Orange Noble Prize for fiction. Her third book is called The Thing Around Your Neck and is a collection of short stories. During the meeting, she read a bit of one of the stories from the short story collection and left everyone in awe. I will encourage you get one of her books. They are worth it. She was asked a couple of a questions and she answered all of them perfectly.

One thing that stood out was her advice to all the ladies. She said that she didn't like the idea of little girls reading Cinderella stories because it gave them the idea that men were better and that they needed a man to come and rescue them. She said it prohibited women from living life normally and put men over women. From this, I concluded that she was a strong feminist.  She was very inspiring to me and other young women in the hall that day, and for that....I have added her to my list of role models. 
Below are some pictures of her that I took....I didn't have a book for her to sign but she signed my bag (believe she was worth it). 

Chimamanda...wearing a lovely dogtooth dress

Chimamanda again....

My signed bag.....

ARISE Magazine Fashion Week Lagos Nigeria 2011

Saturday, 12 March 2011


ARISE Magazine Fashion Week starts officially today... Watch this space for more... on African designers we like.

We like....Anna Sui

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Anna Sui is an American Fashion Designer. She was born in August 4, 1964 in Detroit Michigan. She attended Parsons the New School for Design in New York. Her brand retails globally in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. She also has a fragrance, cosmetic, and accessories line alongside her clothing line which is sold through her stores in over 50 countries, and also widely available in leading department stores worldwide. She is known for her vivid, colorful and cheerful designs.

Fall 2011 RTW
Anna Sui Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear

Anna Sui Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear

Anna Sui Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear

Anna Sui Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear

Anna Sui Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear

Anna Sui Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear

Anna Sui Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear

Anna Sui Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear

Anna Sui Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear

Anna Sui Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear

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