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Afropop Worldwide

Afropop Worldwide

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Afropop Worldwide is an internationally syndicated weekly radio series, online guide to African and world music, and an international music archive, that has introduced American listeners to the music cultures of Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean since 1988. Our radio program is hosted by Georges Collinet from Cameroon, the radio series is distributed by Public Radio International to 110 stations in the U.S., via XM satellite radio, in Africa via and Europe via Radio Multikulti.
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The long awaited follow-up to Afropop's popular 2002 program "Berber Rising" brings listeners up to date on music being made by the original inhabitants of North Africa, the Imazighen, or Berber. The program will include interviews and music from Takfarinas, Malika Zarra, Idir, Amazight, Fatima Tabaamrant, Iness Mezel, Najat Aâtabou and more. We'll…
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In this episode of Planet Afropop, we explore the music and language of the Caribbean coasts’ Afro-indigenous Garinagu People of Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, St. Vincent, and Nicaragua commonly known as the Garifuna. The official story is that these are descendants of enslaved Africans who were shipwrecked on the Island of St. Vincent in 1635. The …
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The Amizigh, or Berber, are the original inhabitants of North Africa, which means their roots run deeper than the region’s better known Arab or European inhabitants. Berber history and music span from ancient sounds from the Atlas and Kabyle mountains to the latest pop fusions. In this, the first of Afropop’s Berber music series, we get the history…
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The "taarab" music of East Africa's Swahili coast offers an amazing history lesson. Bantu and coastal Africans, Arabs, Portuguese, Germans, Brits, and Indians all figure in. With guest, anthropologist and author, Kelly Askew, this Hip Deep program explores the taarab music of Zanzibar, Dar es Salaam, Tanga, and Mombasa, Kenya. The show features rar…
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On "Breaking Into Afrobeats" Georges Collinet and Lagos-based producer producer FayFay, shed light on the challenges faced by aspiring artists in the Afrobeats music industry in Nigeria. This episode introduces listeners to emerging talents like Romi, Bayanni, Boy Spyce, Lady Donli, Young John and Kidd Carder - highlighting their journeys, obstacle…
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Afropop’s Banning Eyre published his prize-winning biography of Thomas Mapfumo, Lion Songs, in 2015. In this episode, he visits the Lion of Zimbabwe at his home in Eugene, Oregon, to discuss new music, the current state of Zimbabwe and more. We hear from Mapfumo’s latest album, Ndikutambire, and sneak previews of works in progress. We also meet 24-…
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Part 2 of our Hip Deep in Ethiopia series features insights from Professor Kay Shelemay of Harvard University, author most recently of Sing and Sing On: Sentinal Musicians and the Making of the Ethiopian American Diaspora (2022). This episode, originally aired in 2009, takes us into Ethiopian Diaspora communities in the United States and Israel, an…
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Ethiopia was the first Christian nation in Africa, and the only African country never to be colonized. With ethnomusicologist Kay Kaufman Shelemay and Ethiopian music scholar and compiler Francis Falceto as guests, this Hip Deep program explores the role of the Ethiopian church and monarchy in building the country's unique brassy pop music. We samp…
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South Africa is one of the biggest dance music nations, and now it seems like the whole world is dancing along to its amapiano (piano/yanos) beats, a genre that blends its kwaito roots with house, jazz and its signature log drum.Afropop Worldwide first explored amapiano’s origins and growing popularity in October 2020. Since then, the genre has see…
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On this episode of Planet Afropop, Georges Collinet interviews fellow Cameroonian Gino Sitson. Sitson is a maverick maestro who blends unique vocal techniques with sounds from classical instruments—cello, violin, double bass—with African traditional elements. You have to hear it to believe it. You will likely share Georges’ amazement. Also, new mus…
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The Malawi Broadcasting Corporation recorded a goldmine of local music in the 1960s and 70s, but the tapes were neglected and close to ruined when broadcaster Waliko Makhala raised the alarm. With help from the Norwegian embassy and Norwegian broadcaster Sigbjorn Nedland, digitization got underway. In this program, we sample the results guided by W…
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In 1991, Thomas Mapfumo and the Blacks Unlimited made their second tour of the United States. It was a fascinating transitional moment in the band’s history. Mapfumo had recently added two musicians playing the metal-pronged, Shona mbira, enriching the band’s lineup of guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, brass and percussion. The band had now evolved i…
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In this episode, producer Elodie Maillot in Paris reviews the career of mercurial Algerian-French singer, composer and activist Rachid Taha, who died in 2018. With remembrances from producers Steve Hillage, Justin Adams and others, the podcast brings to life a singular life and musical career. Taha merged rock and rai music, love poetry and fierce …
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This Hip Deep edition explores the legendary early career of Thomas Mapfumo, a singer, composer and bandleader whose 1970s music set the stage for the birth of a new nation, Zimbabwe. Using rare, unreleased recordings, and recollections by Mapfumo, key band members, and prominent Zimbabweans who lived through the liberation struggle, this program t…
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In this episode, we'll trace the history of country music, highlighting the often-overlooked contributions of Black artists and fans. We'll travel to Kenya to meet rising country stars who are bringing their own unique sounds to the genre. Hear their takes on the hits of Don Williams, Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, and more. We'll also explore the his…
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In this episode, Planet Afropop’s Lagos correspondent Fay Fay profiles a unique multi-generational band on the Nigerian scene: Alternative Reflective Beats (ARB). True to their name, ARB's music embodies the vibrant rhythms of Afrobeat intertwined with a fusion of other genres. Their mission is to maintain their distinct musical identity while crea…
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Umm Kulthum has been called the greatest singer in the Arabic speaking world in the 20th century. Born in 1904 the humble daughter of an Egyptian village imam, she went on to become a glamorous Cairo celebrity in her 20s, and soon after that, a cultural icon whose monthly live radio broadcasts brought much of Egypt to a standstill. She turned high …
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This program focuses on four female artists whose music is full of challenging messages for a challenged world. Climate change, womens’ empowerment, police brutality, official corruption… All that and more in new work from Angelique Kidjo, Dobet Gnaore, Fatoumata Diaouara and Shungudzo, plus a dive into Octavia Butler’s prescient cautionary tales w…
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Afropop Worldwide took 24 adventurous listeners to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, and Zanzibar in February. In this episode, Dar music veteran and aficionado John Kitime takes us through highlights, including the frenetic and risqué singeli music-and-dance craze currently electrifying the country. We also get Kitime's unique insider perspective, and some…
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In West Africa, women are on the cutting edge of musical and cultural progress. This program looks at four singer/composers with roots in tradition and unique ideas about how to keep them current in the fast-changing milieu of today’s African music. Mali’s Fatoumata Diawara keeps her focus on messages, mixing traditional sounds and rock idioms to r…
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Cheikha Rimitti was certainly a queen. For some, she was the queen of raï (pronounced RYE), which means “opinion" in Arabic. For others, she was the queen of freedom, an Algerian Statue of Liberty wielding the fire of independence, as she sang daringly and frankly about love, sexuality, poverty, drinking and oppression. She defied taboos and her mu…
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Bongeziwe Mabandla is a maverick South African singer-songwriter whose music draws on many of his country’s rich styles, but cannot be reduced to any of them. Along with his Mozambican producer Tiago Correira Paulo, he has developed a unique, keyboard-driven sound with deep, meditative textures. Planet Afropop’s Mukwae Wabei Siyolwe calls it “music…
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To kick off Women's History Month, DJ Kix returns with Georges Collinet to take us on a musical journey across Africa, showcasing some of the continent’s formidable women who are quickly rising in the industry and making their presence known. In this episode, we’ll hear from: top Namibian MC, Lioness; Zimbabwean Afro-fusion artist, Gemma Griffiths;…
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There’s been a lot of speculation about the chain of musical events that link the blues back to Africa. Most of that chain is unrecorded and shrouded in mystery. But there is one chapter, just before the blues, that we do know quite a lot about. That’s the history of African-American string bands. This program explores the history, with music and m…
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The season of Carnival (Carnaval), in Guadeloupe brings the unmistakable sounds of music from the local culture clubs to the streets like no other carnival in the world. Every Sunday from the new year to Ash Wednesday, The islanders take turns showing off their cultural traditions. Enslaved Africans, were prohibited from assembling because of Artic…
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