ANGELIQUE KIDJO

Tour Availability from 2022 July 10th to 19th –  August 9th to 21st- from 2022 November 15th to December 15th – 2023 January, February or April

Booking  Scandinavia only ; Kjell Kalleklev / +47 911 03 280 (e-post)

Mother Nature is Angélique’s first album of original music in 7 years, following 2019’s Grammy-winning Celia, and her 2018 radical reimagining of Talking Heads’ landmark LP Remain In Light. Mother Nature features Yemi Alade, Mr Eazi, Salif Keita, Burna Boy, Shungudzo, Zeynab, Lionel Loueke, Sampa The Great, Blue Lab Beats, Ghetto Boy, EARTHGANG, and -M-. Producers that worked on the album include Kel P (Burna Boy), James Poyser of The Roots, Vtek, Rexxie, Synematik, Blue Lab Beats, -M-, Brad Thomas Ackley, David Donatien and Dany Synthé. She began writing it in 2019 and it was created over the past year in quarantine.
Angélique Kidjo is on a roll. For years, she has been an entertaining, reliable fixture on the world-music scene, a powerful singer famed for mixing African material, including songs by her heroine Miriam Makeba, with old favourites by anyone from Bob Marley to Sam Cooke. But it’s her most recent albums that have demonstrated the scope of her ambition. First came her original reinterpretation of Talking Heads’ 1980 album Remain in Light, in which she advanced the African influences in their music. Now she applies the same technique to the songs of Celia Cruz, the queen of salsa. This is not just an album of covers but an inventive reinterpretation.
Cruz, who died in 2003, became a massive star in the US after refusing to return to Cuba when Fidel Castro took power. But Kidjo’s album is a reminder of Cruz’s African roots, born in a poor black neighbourhood of Havana: the salsa hits are reworked with Afrobeat hero Tony Allen on drums, joined by the west African Gangbé Brass Band, Britain’s Sons of Kemet and American Meshell Ndegeocello on bass.
The set opens with a new version of Cruz’s cheerful 1975 hit Cucala, with guitar and percussion dominating in place of brass. A later Cruz hit, La Vida Es Un Carnaval is given an edgy, Ethiopian-inspired treatment, while the rapid-fire Quimbara is treated to an Afrobeat setting, with Allen in subtle form. Kidjo’s singing is powerful and assured throughout, from the upbeat revamp of Bemba Colorá to the brooding, chanting echoes of Santería, the Afro-Cuban religion, on Elegua and Yemaya, a tribute to the orisha (spirit) of motherhood and ruler of the seas, now set to an African juju beat. Magnificent.
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