Music Spotlight: Sami Dan “Hayal”


I really don’t care what anyone says.  I like African music. Whether it’s the traditional stuff, experimental works, or Afropop, I enjoy it. Here’s one singer I’ve known for almost a year now. This is Sami Dan from Ethiopia. I first heard this song last year not long after the peace deal with his home country and Eritrea. Even though I rarely listen to pop music, this had a fun beat and it’s a fun love song of sorts. Amharic sounds great when sung.

Feel free to check out this song.

Music Spotlight: “Nyina W’abeza” by Intayoberana


I recently discovered this music/dance troupe not long after I reviewed the movie Munyurangabo. I decided to research some things about Rwanda after the fact like how the capital Kigali is one of the cleanest cities on the planet and what their music scene is like. This was really cool how it incorporated traditional rhythms alongside modern instrumentation while they sing in Kinyarwanda. The melodies were so sweet and very authentic. It’s been a while since I promoted other musicians, but this is one song I’ve been listening to recently. Check out Intayoberana!

Disney and Beyonce need to stop giving me carte blanche to rant about that stupid rip-off movie franchise and how they rip off stuff again (or CAN YOU FEEL THE HEIST TONIIIIIGHT?)

I’m sorry. I seriously didn’t expect to make a rant involving the best-selling piece of plagiarism in movie history. Okay, I did get a smile on my face how that remake has been getting negative reviews, but I still get frustrated with their fans defending the indefensible.

However, recent situations and discoveries are only proving me right more and more!

Let’s recap on what The Lion King has stolen thus far:

1: Kimba the White Lion. ‘Nuff said.

2: Trademarking the phrase “Hakuna Matata” which is totally cultural appropriation.

3: Withholding royalties from the late South African songwriter Solomon Linda for his song “Mbube” which was plagiarized into “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”. He died penniless and his heirs sued a licensing company and Disney for not giving credit to Mr. Linda and for the royalties which they wouldn’t get until 2006.

Then came a 4th reason and this one involves a music video, the most famous Destiny’s Child member, and a lesser-known South African musician of Congolese and Angolan descent.

So, Beyonce came out with the new music video for “Spirit” which is a song for The Lion King remake. It features imagery of a desert and people wearing blue and red traditional African clothing. Wouldn’t it be crazy if the imagery copied a long-form music video that came out last year? Oh…that actually happened.

Petite Noir is the originator in this story. He made a short film/long-form music video for his “La Maison Noir” EP. I’ve checked out his music and it’s really good. I bought his EP on Bandcamp not just because I liked the music video or his music, but to support a real artist who doesn’t steal from others. He even self-directed his own music video. Want to know the subtitle of it? The Gift and the Curse. HAHAHAHA! Get it? Because that Beyonce vanity project…I mean companion soundtrack is called The Lion King: The Gift! Wow, shame on Beyonce, director Jake Nava, and Disney for stealing someone else’s art. I hope Petite Noir lawyers up and sues all those parties involved.

Disney and Nala…I mean, Beyonce are only proving me right even more that this franchise is a legacy built on artistic larceny. First, Japan, then multiple Swahili-speaking countries, and South Africa TWICE now?! They really have no shame.

I really didn’t want to do a post bashing this movie franchise again, but it was deserved.

Now if you excuse me, I’m going to rock out to Petite Noir’s EP at the moment. Dear Beyhive, your so-called goddess isn’t infallible whether she got Mickey Mouse money or not. Disney fans, your favorite company isn’t innocent.

Mr. Leo “Pray”

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything on this blog.

Some of you may know that I’ve been getting more into African music and even more recently into movies made in that continent. Even though I’ve never been to Africa, I come from a multi-ethnic family and I did a DNA test where one of my results from my maternal side came up as Cameroonian among other ethnic groups in Africa and Europe. I decided to check out the music from that country and stumbled across Mr. Leo. I first heard the song “Pray” and found it touching given that country’s situation currently with the conflicts involving the French-speaking Cameroonians and the English-speaking ones where there have been fatalities. It saddens me how there have been divisions like that in this post-colonial landscape. Luckily, there are people in that country who hate the bloodshed and see each other as brothers and sisters despite what languages they speak. It certainly hit my heart because these people could be distant relatives of mine in some way. I hope you check out this song.

Part of the song is in Banso which is one of the local languages in that country. I found translated parts of that song which make it more heartbreaking knowing what everything means.

Amen chorus part:
Let us kneel down (Amen)
Let us keep praying that (Amen)
The day will soon be clear
Let us kneel down (Amen)
Let us keep praying that (Amen)
The day will soon be clear

Banso part of the 2nd verse:
If you are ignoring your brother
Beware, you are making a mistake
If you are chasing your brother away
Beware, you are making a mistake

Translation credit to Chris Logan

Discovering Ethiopian Rap Music: Cypher Abyssinia 2016

Here’s a quick post that some of you may be interested in.

I haven’t spotlighted many musicians outside of ZAP Records (the label I’m affiliated with), but I thought I would branch out by discovering some music off the beaten path. You’ve all noticed that I’ve been talking a bunch about Africa lately with some various news sources going on there, but I thought I would change it up with their music scene. I’ve been listening to some pop music in Africa mainly in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Ghana, and Togo recently, but I randomly discovered this series of music. It’s called Cypher Abyssinia which is a yearly rap tradition in Ethiopia where their rappers spit some verses together. However, they aren’t rapping in English. It’s all in Amharic, one of the major languages in that country. For those of you that don’t know, that’s the same language that The Weeknd used in the outro to his song “The Hills” (he’s Ethiopian-Canadian, for those that didn’t know), and the alphabet used in that language (Ge’ez script) is one of the inspirations of the Wakandan alphabet in Black Panther. It sounds really cool hearing rap music in an African language. Bonus points for incorporating traditional rhythms and melodies while mixing it with a hip-hop beat. Feel free to check it out!

Video courtesy of AND Tunes

Justin Yates’s new music and new music video!

It’s time!

My friend Justin Yates released his newest EP called “Friend”. He even released a new music video for his song “Burn”. Justin Yates is someone I’ve known for years when I got into the local music scene and he’s one of the few people from that area who I still talk to and never lost respect for. He works harder than so many other musicians I know. Feel free to check out the music video and to buy his EP.

Dystopian Futures Interview from The Antidote

http://www.theantidoteradio.com/interview/interview-with-dystopian-futures

Very recently, Dave Emmerson from Dystopian Futures was interviewed by The Antidote. He had some great insight for his current band. Dave also talks about the weaknesses of social media, rampant narcissism, and sci-fi. Shoot, I didn’t even know he was a fan of Dr. Strangelove. Hahaha! I thought this was a great interview and you should check it out.

Don’t forget that Dystopian Futures’s Low Arts EP comes out on 6/11/18 on http://zaprecords.bandcamp.com.

Check out the Fear EP: https://zaprecords.bandcamp.com/album/zap-033-fear-cs

Don’t forget, Dystopian Futures has a new music video for their Low Arts song. Yes, I worked on it and I threw in some stealth puns. Hee hee hee…

Do you like video projects and/or photography?

Here goes my 2nd week in a row about my other blogs. Hahaha!

One thing I’ve been doing for years is some videography and some photography. I have my own little DIY thing called Autumn Peal Media.

The video projects I’ve done in the past involve concert footage, some sports highlights, poetry, and some music videos including the following:

The Old-Timers “Mammon” which I do-directed with lead singer Dave Emmerson [Hardcore/Punk from Scotland/South Africa]
Watercolour “Ulysses” [Indie Folk from England]
Praiser “Your Ego” [Hardcore from Germany]
Ospreyshire “My Heart is a Crater” [Spoken Word/Anti-Pop/Avant-garde]

I have these projects on Vimeo and I also have some photo projects including my Shutterbug Saturday stuff where I show off photos from my trip to Ecuador on the WordPress blog.

Feel free to check out my other works! I post photos every Saturday and reference throwback videos on Thursday.

-Curtis

My Heart Is A Crater Music Video

Surprise!

I didn’t tell anyone this, but I wanted to make a video for my stuff. Here’s my debut music video for the track “My Heart Is A Crater.” Feel free to share this video around with your friends. This video was done by my DIY video production thingamabob known as Autumn Peal Media. There’s a blog involving that, too. http://autumnpealmedia.wordpress.com. Feel free to check that out with my video and photo projects.

Don’t forget that this is on my EP Verses V.S. Anhedonia which is on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Music, and other digital retailers. And of course…

http://ospreyshire.bandcamp.com
http://ZAPrecords84.bandcamp.com

Thanks!

-Curtis