Looking as sharp as ever in a crisp suit with trouser cuffs rolled up to his calves, singer-songwriter/producer Pharrell was in his element Wednesday night on Jimmy Kimmel Live! delivering an A-grade performance of Happy, a bubbly single off the soundtrack of the eagerly anticipated animated movie Despicable Me 2.
Fela Kuti was a one-man revolution, the irreverent antithesis of the corruption that was fast gaining ground in Nigerian government during his time. He wasn’t the best vocalist, true, but Fela’s powerful, irrepressible lyrics as well as his intelligent fusion of jazz and tribal sounds into the universally acclaimed genre known as Afrobeat remain untouchable twenty-six years after his passing.
High definition footage of Fela’s impassioned live performances are not anywhere online, but here’s the next best thing: a clear 18-minute video shot at the 1978 Berlin Jazz Festival. This performance of the bitingly critical song, Power Show captures the essence of Fela, his music and his purpose.
Rwandan-Ugandan singer-songwriter Somi delivers a moving performance on the latest installment of the Ndani Sessions, a live music web series created by Nigeria’s Ndani TV. Somi, who also gives a touching personal account, wrote The Last Song as an introspective tribute to the 153 victims of the Dana Air crash of June 3, 2012.
Ghanaian singer Efya is a fine vocalist whose upcoming debut album, Love Genesis, will put her in the spotlight where she belongs. Head below to watch footage from her excellent live performance of Life, a recently released neo-soul single, at The Jazzhole, Ikoyi, Lagos.
I don’t care much for Illuminati conspiracy theories, but it will be silly to deny the heavy presence of strange, often occult symbolism in pop culture. Enter: Kanye West.
The rapper, clearly prepping a new album, continued in his quirky ways with a roaring performance from a fluorescent pyramid last night in New York.
Still harboring misgivings about ‘Ye’s affiliation with the, ahem, Lord of Darkness? See videos from the show below.