The cultural musical vision of AngÃ©lique Kidjo
Country of origin of Benin in West Africa, singer-songwriter, actress and activist AngÃ©lique Kidjo places culture at the center of her art. The four-time Grammy winner released her 15th studio album on June 18, titled Mother Nature. Kidjo stirred a pot with various flavors of sounds native to the black community. Featuring a series of black artists from countries like Zimbabwe, Mali, Nigeria and the United States, she has crafted a bouncy and versatile project true to the heart of the Afrobeat genre and African spirituality.
Mother Nature is not only dynamic for its mix of sounds but also for the use of different languages ââwhich highlight its value in the culture as well as the emphasis on its activism. Kidjo sings in Yoruba, French, Fon and English as she uplifts the next generation of Africa raised by political discontent and calls for women’s sovereignty. Serving as a call for the empowerment of women, âDignityâ cries out for courtesy to marginalized people with words like âRespect is reciprocalâ. Kidjo and Nigerian artist Yemi Alade join forces in this track to sing about their growth as women and those who raised them, gently crisscrossing pop and Afrobeats.
“Africa, One Of A Kind” mixes three generations of pan-African pride, Mr Eazi (Nigerian singer Banku), Salif Keita (legend of Mailan) and Kidjo, to confront those who claim their devotion to Africa to celebrate cultural pride. Kidjo puts Nigerian feature film Burna Boy in the spotlight in âDo Yourself,â sprinkling a sprinkle of vocal riffs that tell stories and add eccentricity. This accentuates his attention to detail which gives fullness to the project. “Oman Oba” and “Take It Or Leave It” are unmistakably inspired by old-school Zimbabwean music and the mundane style / tones of highlife (a genre originating in Ghana).
Leaving powerful messages throughout this project, Kidjo once again shouts his activism from the rooftops in “Fired Up.” It speaks of mobilizing action in times of mourning and marginalization and pays homage to those who before it stood up against deception and colonialism. She puts together the last piece of a stimulating quilt, shouting, âGet set, get set, we’re excited! The album’s title track is also filled with important messages about the power of mother nature and union. An African urban legend claims that the environment / weather is a clear sign of dark and harsh times and is a way for Mother Nature to try and say something to those who pay attention. Kidjo underlines this by proclaiming, âMother Nature has a way to warn us / we need each other now. ”
Kidjo’s trajectory throughout his career has been to show love to his home while changing both the perspective of its inhabitants and the world at large, which is clear in Mother Nature. She gives young Pan-African artists a chance to shine while incorporating powerful storytelling and structured idiosyncrasies.