Sunday, 29 September 2013

Sister Fa!

Not An Average Rap Artist!

Sister Fa can rap better than most. She can sing and her show is electrifying! I watched her at The Flyover Portobello on Friday, 20th September and was really mesmerised by her performance.

Fatou Diatta a.k.a. Sister Fa has dominated Senegalese hip hop for most of the last decade with a powerful flow, great melodies and a bewitching personality. A symbol of the emerging liberation of African womanhood, her lyrics empower and inspires women of the world to assert themselves in a male dominated world.

Her music is peppered with influences from hardcore rap, Senegalese pop and innovative reggae. Multilingual, she sings in French, English, Wolof, Manding and Jola. Her album 'Sarabah - Tales From The Flipside of Paradise' is very rich indeed, covering lots of styles and languages.

A campaigner for women's right and a champion in the fight against female genital mutilation in Africa and the globe, it was unsurprising that there were a lot of young women in the audience. Her work for the Orchid project was lauded by the MC and most of the women present.

Part of the London African Music Festival, I really felt privileged to watch this bundle of energy on stage proving to all that she is more than a rap and hip hop artist.

Sister Fa and I

The Festival ended on Sunday 23rd September, but I promise to publish more photos from those events I was lucky enough to catch. I also want to thank the promoters Joyful Noise for their vision and hard work, bringing and producing multiple events (sometimes up to six venues) in an evening. Now that is a feat!

Stay cool,

Friday, 20 September 2013

It's Cosy Upstairs!


A beautiful lady ascends the stage. Shy, she quietly picks up her guitar and sings us a song. Just her, and the guitar. Her voice was strong and she was so pretty. I knew I was going to have a great evening.

Namvula sings about her African roots with a great melodic voice. Her musicians were with her as we the audience were entertained.

This event was part of the London African Music Festival. The shows have been spread through London and will conclude on Sunday 22nd September.


Mainstream music is thrust upon us all. Sometimes almost as much as we're deluged by information. I find it refreshing to stray from the over-beaten track and seek out different and more effective sounds.

Found it last Sunday. Upstairs at the Ritzy in Brixton.

The audience was a great one whose musical tastes seemed to have developed to like and appreciate the sophisticated folk songs and music from the African continent.  

Namvula's was a fusion of African songs, lovely bass riffs and Kari Bannerman's electrifying guitar, nicely arranged and put to strong percussive rhythms; It had me vibing. I felt entertained.

This coming Sunday, the final day of the Music Festival, New Empowering Church 1a Westgate Street, just off Mare Street, London E8 3RL is the venue that will host Sierra Leone's King Masco and his band. Currently wowing audiences across West Africa, I hear this is a good band to see if you wanna dance. If you want to go, get there early.


Sunday, 8 September 2013

Congratulations Tokyo, Japan!

Short stories, Hot Topics and relevant information on Music and the Arts! The official Blog page for seeking to educate, entertain and inform. We invite aspiring writers to showcase their talent here. Read short stories for free here!

2020 Summer Olympics goes to Tokyo J:

Tokyo, Japan hosts the 2020 Summer Olympics and that is official. I am happy for Japan and the people of Tokyo. 

Troubled recently by a devastating earthquake and the disaster at Fukushima, the decision will bring a smile to the residents of Tokyo and Japan as a whole. This is a validation of the dedication and hard work of the Japanese.

Japan first competed at the Olympics in 1912, won it's first medals (two silver) in 1920 in Antwerp. The first gold medals were won in two events (Triple jump and Swimming) in Amsterdam at the 1928 games.

The country hosted it's first Games in 1964 and it was memorable.

Tokyo's estimated budget for 2020 is in the region of US$3.5billion.

I have no doubt that the Japanese will be great hosts in 2020. 

Working for Japanese companies when I was much younger, I am a witness to how hardworking and enterprising the Japanese are. They are a country with great infrastructure, plenty of talented and capable planners and a great citizenry.

Sports in general is one activity that creates friendship and peace among nations. Let us all wish the people of Tokyo J good luck and congratulations.

Peace out!


Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Thrilling With No Frills - Music!

Short stories, Hot Topics and relevant information on Music and the Arts! The official Blog page for, Seeking to educate, entertain and inform. We invite aspiring writers to showcase their talent here. Read short stories for free here!

Raw and Earthy!

Chatting with Nigerian music icon and star Queen Salawa Abeni the other day, the subject of the forthcoming  London African Music Festival came up in our conversation. 

Now in it's eleventh year, the promoters Joyful Noise have been working hard at making this annual event a must for genuine lovers of music who are not taken in by populist hype. They seek out, promote and present artists who never seem to be programmed by some festivals in spite of their true talent and relevance.

Pop, R&B, Soul, Jazz and Gospel music wouldn't be what they are today, without the infusion of African rhythm and sounds into those genres. It's no secret that most of the successful musicians and artists who are idolised in the world today, owe their success to the infusion of elements from traditional African music.

It wasn't strange in the 1970s, to see music scholars and musicians from North America and Western Europe visiting African towns and villages with reel to reel tape recorders, memorialising their visits to these places by recording traditional drummers and ceremonies in some of the remotest parts of the African continent. In a lot of cases, the vibes somehow found their way into some hit records, making some of them, virtually millionaires.

It is also true that many young African artists today, have adopted western instruments and styles into their repertoire, creating their own particular hybrid and unique sounds. Some others have stuck to the traditional, preferring to remain true to the original sound, becoming ambassadors of the culture and music of Africa. This I suppose, is inevitable in a world that has truly in every sense of the word, become a global village.

The 11th. London African Music Festival will begin on Friday, 13th September at all the top London venues. Places like Camden's Jazz Cafe, Vortex Jazz Club, Richmix, The Forge, Cargo, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre etc., and will continue every day, until Sunday 22nd September 2013. the festival will showcase modern, traditional and middle of the road acts in all those venues. A true picture of the raw and earthy sounds of Africa.

The impressive roster of talent this year, when they hit the stage, will wow the audience and punters are guaranteed a great time. The best drummers in the world, are Africans; When their hands and sticks hit the skins, only dead souls, fail to dance. Those who attend this year will probably salivate for more of the same and will probably end up in front of the queue, next year.

For full details of the programming, click on the festival or promoter's links above.

Hope to see you all there.

Remember to bring your dancing shoes!



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