Traditionally so called “world music” has had its followers in western countries, providing many African artists opportunities to tour other continents, yet remaining niche artists outside their home markets. Over years, numerous African artist that have made name all over world, Ali Farka Toure, Fela Kuti, Miriam Makeba, and Youssou N’Dour, to name few. Not mainstream, but still well recognised artists. These represent older generations of musicians, many of whom have passed away. They are being replaced by new generation of musicians, performing modern music styles. Most popular of them tend to come from Nigeria.
Music streaming services like Beats, Deezer, Pandora, Rdio and Spotify have become a major form of music listening in recent years. People can use computers, phones and certain other devices to listen music of their selection, while a fast enough internet connection is needed. Streaming services often have a freemium business model, so that there is a limited service free of cost and a premium an account offering unlimited listening and other benefits. Subscription fees for premium services are usually around 10€ a month depending on service and regional location. This article concentrates on Spotify and Deezer as both are well known and have wide catalogues of over 30 million songs. The amount of African music available on both services is surprisingly good. Likes of Fela Kuti, Manu Dibango, Miriam Makeba, Franco, Angelique Kidjo, Salif Keita, Ali Farka Toure and Mahmoud Ahmed all have much of their discography on the catalogue. Similarly most recent hits by African artists are there. You may find them on Youtube too, which has wider and more global audience, but if you are interested in full albums and older music, counting on music streaming services is a better bet.
It is five years since Shakira’s hit “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)”, the official FIFA 2010 World Cup song was released in May 2010. Yes, that song was an inspiration for the name of this blog.
“Waka Waka” turned out to be a huge international hit, topping single lists in several countries and selling over ten million digital copies to date. The song regained popularity last year, during the World Cup in Brazil, whistling out the negatively perceived “We Are One (Ole Ola)” by Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez. Read the rest of this entry »