Sunday, 26 November 2017

zaynnah conversation...with Dele Sosimi

image:Gavin Mills
Afrobeat ambassador Dele Sosimi, played keyboards in Fela Kuti’s band Egypt 80. When Fela was imprisoned in 1984, Dele co-led the band with Fela’s son, Femi.  Dele and Femi went on to form their own band, Positive Force, in 1986.  Keyboardist, vocalist, musical director, musical arranger and composer Dele Sosimi arrived on the London music scene in the mid-nineties. He formed his own band shortly afterwards and has not looked back since...

What led you to a career in music? 

I was led to music by the life-changing experience of meeting Femi Kuti, who introduced me to Fela Kuti. For me, music is more of a passion - it is my life and not just a career. 

Why Music? 

Because it speaks to my soul! My soul expresses through music created, composed and performed. Each live performance is a fresh and true expression of the passions of the ups, downs, pains and  joys of living Life. Most especially, Music gives me the added joy of being able to share my knowledge when I teach and facilitate Afrobeat workshops and masterclasses. I am also able to share my knowledge through collaborations, talks, lectures and symposia.

Is there a particular message that you seek to share through your music?

Loads of messages! But mainly messages of love for one another, love for life, peace...and most especially, a message of tolerance (for one another). 

You have performed widely all over the world, which location has been the most memorable and why?

Tough one to answer! But I will say my Afrobeat Vibration performances in London at The New Empowering Church in Hackney (now closed) and later The Forge Camden (now closed). Why? because over a nine-year period, I managed to build and sustain a great following, whilst also keeping Afrobeat alive - Fela's Afrika Shrine-style...with four-hour marathon non-stop live sets until the "wee" hours of the morning! This left unforgettable experiences in the minds of our audiences, musicians and hosts!

Are musicians born or are they made?
It depends really - t's wrong to generalise in any case. My strong convictions, based on my own experience, is that many are made, many are born and many are industry manufactured!

What would you say is the difference between Afrobeat and Afrobeats? Is there a difference or are they the same thing?

Simply put, Fela originated Afrobeat with a very friendly, non-commercial attitude. His vision resulted in a very strong unapologetic "in your face" socio-political conscious body of lyrics. It grew to become more than just music - Afrobeat became Fela's way of life. It became his attitude to life and his personal cause. Twenty years after his death, Afrobeat is still being defined, re-defined, analyzed and researched within academia. Afrobeats, on the other hand, is more of an industry created Afro-pop style with a very tastily catchy, trendy, commercial-friendly flair. Afrobeat and Afrobeats are definitely not the same on numerous levels. 

What was Fela Kuti like to work with or to work for?

If you knew what to expect and had no false expectations or illusions of grandeur, Fela was great to work for and with! He was a great teacher, a great groove master and wordsmith. The many stories he shared of his challenges as a young musician growing up in London, sort of prepared me for life in the UK.

What does the rest of the year hold for you?

We have the 9th anniversary of Afrobeat Vibration featuring Dele Sosimi Afrobeat Orchestra (DSAO) in London at The Jazz Cafe in London on December 15. I am also working on my next albums and collaborations for 2018 and beyond.

Dele Sosimi...thank you!

E go betta
by Dele Sosimi (at Felabration 2015, London)

Friday, 24 November 2017

Wisal....4 December, 2017

Poster design by Mohammad Sharaf
Wisal - A Symposium on Cross-Cultural Collaboration

...examining the concept of collaboration and how it has existed in cultural practice both in Saudi Arabia and beyond.

This one-day symposium will focus on grassroots, national, and transnational collaborations both in the United States and in Saudi Arabia with a concentration on the Bridges Program, an initiative by King Abdulaziz Centet for World Culture (Ithra). The aim is to discuss different examples of the transformative ways art and creativity can be a catalyst for cross-cultural understanding and to effect meaningful change in communities. It will also act as a platform for future cross-cultural collaborations and act as a catalyst for such work.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

K'OWO YA...official video release!

Zaynnah Magazine is pleased to share the newly released official video for K'OWO YA, a Yoruba-fusion song by KUKU and Nya. Enjoy...

by Kuku and Nya

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Amadou & Mariam at Troxy

Malian couple Amadou & Mariam will perform at Troxy on Saturday 4th November. With Amadou playing the guitar and also singing and Mariam's vocals, their music has been described as "afro-blues". 

Amadou & Mariam
7pm - Saturday 4th November, 2017
490 Commercial Road
London E1 0HX
tickets: from £24.75

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

WOMEX 2017

Katowice, Poland*
Zaynnah Magazine is very pleased to be a WOMEX media partner once again! This year’s (WOMEX 17), will take place in Katowice, Southern Poland.

According to the Expo organisers…WOMEX continues its journey of covering the entire scope of European regions, signifying and actively promoting solidarity and unity of Europe through its locations and of all countries of the world through its programme.*

“We are delighted to bring WOMEX into this European region and find new friends there. We believe WOMEX will once again add its part to a positive movement over there: The city of Katowice is an upcoming creative location, recently undergoing a post-industrial flowering where the city becomes a green, cultural hub.” says Alexander Walter, WOMEX Director.*

With its newly opened Cultural Zone, as well as the concert hall – the NOSPR (which will be a main location for WOMEX 17), Katowice is the only Central European city that has been designated a UNESCO City of Music.

World Music Expo 2017 (WOMEX 17)
25-29 October 2017
Katowice, Southern Poland

*quotes & image

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Another successful year at Méra!

Over 3000 festival goers converged in Méra for the second World Music Festival last month. Bands from a range of countries which included Italy, Mexico and the USA, performed at this most unique of festivals.

According to the festival organisers "The aim of Méra World Music Festival was to present the Kalotaszeg Region to the world, and to bring people from all over the world to Kalotaszeg. This is why we organized a series of unique and varied events, and the fine work of the KOOHO architects created again a very special atmosphere. During the second edition of the festival we also introduced selective waste collection and made sure that our ecological footprint was as small as possible. This year we opened the doors of the Buffalo Museum, and on Saturday we held our first farmers’ market there!
Apart from the varied musical offer we also launched events and activities for children and grown-ups and our photo exhibition focused on the rich musical tradition of the region and the many traditional tools and objects. The movie screenings and talks which followed, were a good starting point for dialogue on the role of traditions in today’s world.  This year Méra hosted the First Fiddler’s Competition with the support of Hagyományok Háza (Hungarian Heritage House) and Hagyományok Háza Hálózat – Erdély (Hungarian Heritage House Network– Transylvania) with the participation of nine contestants. The prize for the best fiddler went to Ádám Kiss Balbinát, who has also received the Junior Prima Award..."

Méra World Music Festival 2017 was supported by the Hungarian Heritage House and the Hungarian Heritage House Network-Transylvania. The main supporting institutions were the National Cultural Fund of Hungary, Administration of the National Cultural Fund of Romania, the Bethlen Gábor Fund and the Mayor’s Office of Baciu.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

The Africa Centre Summer Festival 2017

The Africa Centre's Summer Festival will hold on Saturday 19th August at 66 Great Suffolk Street, London SE1 0BL.

Included in the line-up are Afrikan Boy, Dee Ajayi, and Seeds of Creation.

Admission is free