The discoveries of “Africolor”: the musical selection of “World Africa” ​​# 79

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Each Wednesday, The World Africa presents three musical novelties from or inspired by the continent. This week, let us be guided by « Africolor », the nomadic festival in Ile-de-France dedicated to African music, including the 33e edition will take place from November 12 to December 22 in different places in the Paris region.

Founded in 1989 by Philippe Conrath (former journalist of Release became owner of a musical label) and directed by the ex-lyric singer Sébastien Lagrave since 2012, “Africolor” is meant to be “The biggest festival of creation around African music” and “The showcase of living Africa today”, cosmopolitan and connected to the rest of the world. As such, it gives pride of place to meetings between musicians from various horizons.

Among the artists programmed this year, we find the Ethiopian Girma Bèyènè with the Parisian group Akalé Wubé; the “Saharan” project, which brings together four singers from Morocco, Mauritania, Western Sahara and Algeria; French DJ Praktika accompanied by Burkinabe multi-instrumentalist Simon Winsé; the Go de Bamako, the first Malian “girls band”; or the violin-soku duo between the French Clément Janinet and the Malian Adama Sidibé …

For this selection, we have chosen to highlight three artists who are still little known but who gain by being: the Franco-Senegalese Poundo, the Congolese Lova Lova and the Ugandan Faizal Mostrixx.

Pound

Singer, dancer, “fashionista”, journalist… Born in France to Senegalese and Bissau-Guinean parents, Poundo Gomis is a protean artist who has collaborated with personalities as diverse as the choreographer Marie-Claude Pietragalla, the singers Alicia Keys and Aya Nakamura , director Spike Lee or rapper Orelsan.

Based between Paris and New York, where she was fashion editor-in-chief of magazines Okayplayer and Okayafrica, she released her first EP at the end of 2020, We Are More, in which she operates an effective synthesis, in English and Mandjak, between West African heritage and urban music.

Friday November 19 at 8 p.m., Le Plan, avenue Louis-Aragon, Ris-Orangis; and Saturday November 27 at 8:30 p.m., Jacques-Brel room, 42 avenue Edouard-Vaillant, Pantin.

Promise promise

The Ile-de-France festival presents its music as “Kinshasa punk-rock”, but Lova Lova is equally inspired by hip-hop, electro and Congolese rumba. Unclassifiable and crazy artist from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Wilfried Luzele – his real name – is the author of a first album, It will happen (2018), followed by the EP Head Skin (2020), both produced through crowdfunding.

Singing in Lingala, Kikongo, Tshiluba and French, he describes with humor and energy the daily life of Kinshasa and more particularly of his commune of Bandalungwa, in the heart of the Congolese capital.

Saturday, November 27 at 8:30 p.m., Jacques-Brel room, 42 avenue Edouard-Vaillant, Pantin.

Faizal Mostrixx

This is the second time that the Ugandan choreographer and producer Faizal Mostrixx has been the guest of “Africolor”, after having offered an Afro-Futurist show in 2019 mixing dance and electro. On the stage of the Maison populaire in Montreuil, he will first present “Nanteza”, a creation in collaboration with the scenographer Robinah Nasubuga, before delivering a concert combining hip-hop, urban dances and visual installations.

Album author Tribal Match (2017) and several EPs, this self-taught artist is about to release a new opus, Mafube, with rapper Morena Leraba (Lesotho) and singer Iri Di (Ethiopia).

On Saturday December 11 at 4 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., La Maison populaire, 9 bis rue Dombasle, Montreuil.

Read also From one continent to another: the musical selection of “World Africa” ​​# 78

Find all the musical favorites of the editorial staff in the playlist YouTube of World Africa.

Seine-Saint-Denis, bastion of “afro” music

If many concerts of the “Africolor” festival take place in Seine-Saint-Denis, from Villetaneuse to Montreuil via Clichy-sous-Bois, it is perhaps because this department maintains special links with African artists.

In any case, this is the observation made by the Afrisson association, which is organizing a traveling exhibition until October 2022 entitled “African musicians tell their story”. And to quote Rachid Taha, Salif Keïta, Amadou & Mariam or Papa Wemba, among others, who, “At one point in their life, put down their suitcases [en Seine-Saint-Denis], leaving their mark on the town where they lived ”. Some have even become municipal councilors, others have given their names to streets, squares or accommodation centers.

Through this event, Afrisson wants “Reveal an unknown and intimate aspect” the career of around forty of these musicians. In addition to the traveling exhibition which, after Saint-Denis in October and Aubervilliers in November, will take over the direction of Tremblay-en-France in December, concerts are organized in tribute to deceased artists (Mory Kanté, Fantani Touré, Hilaire Penda, Geoffrey Oryema…), themed evenings on Congolese rumba, Afrojazz or Portuguese-speaking music, but also conferences and meetings with locals. Did you say “Afro-Dionysian”?

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The discoveries of “Africolor”: the musical selection of “World Africa” ​​# 79