Africa, I love you.
Africa, I love you. Today I woke up feeling homesick for the smell of your earth after a flash flood rainstorm. Longing for prickly, bright heat on the nape of my neck and forehead. Licking my lips in delightful memory of my mother's ground nut stews and mashed green bananas. Hearing the cheap, infectious beats of Saturday wedding dance-floors and wee-hour discos. I woke up still dreaming of and longing for you. Perhaps I shouldn't call the feeling "homesick", but "lovesick". Yes, I believe I woke up lovesick and then I remembered that I had decided to carve out some space in my virtual world dedicated to all that I see, feel, taste, create, remember of for and in you. So welcome to where I'll be dreaming in real-time of real-life art and culture made by the hands and voices of my favorite African folks who remind me of how I came to love you in the first place.
Africa, I love you. Don't ever forget it. ♥
August 29, 2014
Kwabs. Singer/Songwriter. Ghanaian. Lives in London.
Kwabs is new to me. I watched this live version of his original "Last Stand" a couple of months ago and was immediately taken by the deep earth and sweetness that equally rest inside of his voice. Looking forward to hearing more from him. ♥
July 20, 2014
Wangechi Mutu. Visual Artist. Kenyan. Lives in Brooklyn.
This magical visionary exploded onto the global art scene with intricately detailed and equally beautiful large scale collages that often stage politically-charged interrogations of cultural identity on the female body. A gorgeous retrospective of her work 'A Fantastic Journey' opened at Duke University's Nasher Museum of Art last year year and is currently traveling through major museums in the United States.
Wangechi is without a doubt one of our generation's most inspired artists. Obviously, it doesn't hurt that she's a dear friend and art directed the album cover of my last album "If The Rains Come First." ♥
July 10, 2014
Meklit. Singer/Songwriter. Ethiopian. Lives in San Francisco.
This gorgeous songbird has a new album out called "We Are Alive" (Six Degrees). My favorite songs on it so far are "In Sleep" and "Kemekem (I Like Your Afro)", but there's so much more to discover in her voice, her lyrics, and even her older recordings. I believe it was a music critic in the Bay area who said Meklit sounds like "if Joni Mitchell were East African, sang duets with Norah Jones and met Nina Simone for tea in San Francisco." ♥
July 6, 2014
Teju Cole. Author. Nigerian. Lives in New York City.
Check out Teju's witty, provocative, heartwarming new novella "Every Day Is For The Thief" (RandomHouse) - a story about a young man living in New York City who goes to Lagos for a short and bewildering visit. It was recently named a New York Times Editors’ Pick who also said "his novels are lean, expertly sustained performances."
Oh, and he wrote my new album's liner notes too! ♥