Kandy Guira: Nagtaba

There’s no progress without struggle, and maybe that’s one reason music developed—to make the hard work less onerous, even joyful. Kandy Guira’s first full-length album captures this spirit. Nagtaba (Together) is an ebullient, activist call for solidarity, understanding, tolerance, love, equality, building Africa’s future and valuing women as agents of change. The Paris-based singer-songwriter from Burkina Faso sparkles in her own universe, having … More Kandy Guira: Nagtaba

Kanazoé Orkestra: Tolonso

Time to discuss immigration in musical terms. Popular songs in the so-called developed world revolve mostly around romantic relationships, with an uptick in recent decades of alcohol and drug themes. Lyrics in the developing world focus more on survival, conflict, society and family. Kanazoé Orkestra is a microcosm of immigrant-music dynamics, based in Toulouse and led by Burkina Faso-born Seydou “Kanazoé” Diabaté, balafon master and … More Kanazoé Orkestra: Tolonso

Kanazoé Orkestra: Miriya

It’s unlikely Donald Trump has heard Kanazoé Orkestra’s stirring debut album, but when he told a group of African leaders that he has many friends “going to your countries, trying to get rich,” he unwittingly validated the exploitation lament in the album’s lead song, Fantanya (Poverty). “Why is Africa poor?” asks the lyric, written by bandleader Seydou Kanazoé Diabaté, “Here we find gold and diamonds, but they go abroad/We grow coffee…/We grow rice…/But there is hunger” (video 1). Born in Burkina … More Kanazoé Orkestra: Miriya