I’ve learned from living in New Orleans, that where there is wretched poverty in a community, these harsh conditions inspire some of the most creative art. If it had not been for New Orleans being as poor as it is today, and having a history as a major slave port, we would not have created our own style of language, dance, music, and cuisine. I know this from living in this socioeconomically stifling city that incubated one of the richest cultures in the world.
This principle does not only apply to those of African descent. It applies to most impoverished communities around the world.
South Africa, particularly Capetown is a prime example of this belief. Even under Apartheid, its people produced beautiful carvings, batiks, and beaded craftsmanship & artistry. I was told by a local that what Westerners regard as tribes, are actually groups of family and extended family, who specialize in one of these crafts. My home is decorated with many of the items that I purchased when I was there in the early 2000’s. I traveled alone and therefore had time to enjoy the visit slowly.
South Africans regard, Capetown as the most beautiful city in the world. It truly is! The people are kind and united, surprisingly blacks and whites get along fine. CNN and other news outlets would have you thinking differently. Tensions in South Africa are between rich and poor, not due to racial issues.
Capetown also offers great food, including all kinds of wild game. I tried ostrich, and rode on an ostrich, far enough to get a photo taken. I visited and partook in the wineries, tours, beaches, and private parties given for me by locals who I met.
I remember when I visited Cape Point, on the continent’s southernmost tip. Looking at where the Indian Ocean kisses the Atlantic Ocean, confirmed that God is real! To be so high in the mountains, and clouds, and to imagine that the same oceans spanned so far away. Experiencing the geographical beauty of Capetown was a spiritual experience.
I brought extra copies of Deepak Chopra’s, 7 Spiritual Laws, and passed it out to tour guides and taxi drivers.
What I remember most, is Africa’s music!
African music is happy music with drums that secretly take control over your physical movements. Listening to it you may find yourself dancing vigorously, slightly, or just in spirit. African music can also be inspirational as background music when you hear the talent, and consider that these melodic sounds, originated from undeniable pain.
I don’t understand the languages; most songs I don’t know what they are saying, but I know the messages are positive. But the drums, vocals, and instruments are so powerful that it doesn’t matter. Some songs do mix in English with African and European languages.
I was mesmerized by South African music in a most unusual place, in the shanty towns of South Africa. Because I traveled alone and didn’t know my way around, I took a tour. This shantytown village, built on cardboard, tin, plywood was so poor that it made me want to cry. There was no electricity, sewer, or running water.
Nonetheless, these kind people adapted for their survival. They were very intelligent. I remember a man who could draw any state or country in the world on a pad of paper, from memory. He did it for money, which ran like water at the time. The South African rand was 10 to 1 US Dollar.
As I walked with a tour group, little children started gathering, forming a choir behind me. They sang with angelic voices intensifying my emotions. I wanted to give generously to them but was not allowed to give them money. I gave them a big bag of fruit instead.
Since this time, I have loved African music. I expanded my tastes to include West African music, North African music, African Salsa, and Middle Eastern African music. In Madrid, which has a large African community, I was able to enjoy African Salsa. In Tunisia, Middle Eastern African music.
This music makes me happy. It is impossible, I’m convinced, to tune out the drums, or the happiness in the music, so you just as well join in the rhythm.
My blog is about my life, with a sincere intention to extract wisdom, adventure, and creativity, from experiences both joyful and painful. African music is joyful in my life. When I listen to it, I am happy.
I share entertaining African music with you below, including 3 of my favorite artists: Youssou N’dor, Amanatho, and Africando.
From April 2012 to September 2013, he was Senegal’s Minister of Tourism. N’Dour is one of the most celebrated African musicians in history.
His mix of traditional Senegalese mbalax with eclectic influences ranging from Cuban rumba to hip hop, jazz, and soul won him an international fan base of millions. In the West, N’Dour collaborated with Peter Gabriel, Axelle Red, Sting, Alan Stivell, Bran Van 3000, Neneh Cherry, Wyclef Jean, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Tracy Chapman, James Newton Howard, Branford Marsalis, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Dido, Lou Reed, Bruce Cockburn, and others.
The New York Times described his voice as an “arresting tenor, a supple weapon deployed with prophetic authority”. N’Dour’s work absorbed the entire Senegalese musical spectrum, often filtered through the lens of genre-defying rock or pop music from outside Senegalese culture.
South African group Amabutho. The group made its “formal” musical debut in the wildly successful international theatrical phenomenon Umoja as the marimba band that powered the show’s high- energy musical and dance performances. Their name is taken from the term for a regiment of Zulu warriors, but Amabutho are, in fact, the gentlest of warriors.
On Sikelela, they deliver a soulful message of peace and unity via the sweet sounds of marimba, percussion and effortless vocal harmonies.
Africando – A musical project formed in 1992 to unite New York-based salsa musicians with Senegalese vocalists. Musicians from other African countries were later included under the name Africando All Stars. Salsa has been a hugely popular style in Central and West Africa since the 1940s-1950s, and the goal of Africando was to merge salsa rhythms from both sides of the Atlantic, mainly based on the African salsa tradition.
For the album Mandali (2000), well known African musicians, such as Tabu Ley Rochereau, Koffi Olomide, Salif Keita, Sekouba Bambino, Amadou Balaké and Thione Seck were invited. This new constellation led to the new name Africando All Stars. Whilst in the beginning, the songs were Latin American classics sung in wolof language or a mix of wolof and Spanish, newer songs were African popular music classics, redone with Latin rhythms and instrumentation. With both approaches, Africando has been equally successful.
AMABUTHO – 01 – Umoja (Unity).m4v – 2,984 views – AmabuthoSikelela – Published on Apr 25, 2013
AMABUTHO – 06 – Sikelela (Blessings).m4v – 6,507 views – AmabuthoSikelela – Published on Apr 25, 2013
Youssou N’Dour – Liggeey – 21,926 views – Rétros Musique Afro – Published on Apr 16, 2017 – Morceau 4 du CD Joko (From Village To Town)
Baay Faal – 876 views – Youssou N’Dour – Published on Aug 28, 2015
Provided to YouTube by Warner Music Group
Africando – Betece (feat. Amadou Balaké) [Clip Officiel] – 88,015 views – Syllart Records – Published on Jul 20, 2017
Africando – Gombo Salsa (feat. Nicolas Menheim) [Clip officiel] – 131,687 views – Syllart Records – Published on Jul 18, 2017
Here are some continuous mixes that will play for hours.
On the Youssou N’Dor Live in London Mix, two of my favorite songs are at 17:13 and 1:20:12. Enjoy, and be happy!
Youssou N’Dour – Live in London – 187,451 views – Archives Musicales et Théâtrales du Sénégal – Published on Dec 19, 2016
Various Artists Salsa Africa 2000 CD MIX – 4,347 views – RANiEL1963 – Published on Oct 19, 2016
Review by Adam Greenberg [-] An album from the Salsa Mundo series, which aims to explore the spread of Cuban music throughout the world. This album features Cuban music re-Africanized as salsa (as well as other styles, really) is represented throughout Africa
NAIJA AFROBEAT VIDEO MIX SEPT 2017 DJ LYTA FT WIZKID, TEKNO, DAVIDO,, RUNTOWN RH – 1,401,379 views – RICHY HANIEL – Published on Dec 22, 2017
GHANA | AFROBEATS HITS 2018 (GH | GHANA | NAIJA | AFROBEATS HITS | WEST AFRICAN | AFRICAN) – 14,174 views – dj boAt – Published on Jun 22, 2018
Enjoy all songs in a playlist format here: 1. www.afrobeatsmusiq.com
SHANTY TOWN IN CAPETOWN SOUTH, AFRICA – 1,472 views – Published on Mar 26, 2009
Innovative idea powers South African shanty towns – 6,316 views – Al Jazeera English – Published on Nov 18, 2012
History of Salsa From Africa to Newyork 1 of 3 – 88,314 views – SALSADURA. UK – Published on Mar 13, 2011
Find more http://www.salsadurauk.com A journey Through the History of Salsa, i produce this movie in two main parts African influence then Development in New york.
Top 10 Things to Do in Cape Town – 428,607 views – vagabrothers – Published on Jun 2, 2015
We share our Top Ten activities in South Africa’s beautiful Capital, Cape Town. SUBSCRIBE for New travel videos every Tuesday! http://bit.ly/Vagabrothers
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Being cognizant of international visitors, I want to do all that I can to communicate wisdom globally for all.