Tag Archives: blm

From Collective Trauma And Rage Comes Beautiful Soul Music

Zambian-born, Botswana-raised, and now Johannesburg-based, Moonga K., has just released a beautiful soul single where he addresses his trauma as a black man in this world. The melody came to him on the bus, on his way to the studio, and in a moment’s time, the song was ready.

In this strange year of 2021 we are also experiencing a sad, yet very important to remember, anniversary of the horrible Tulsa Massacre. Moonga K. explains in a recent interview how he felt triggered and angry after watching a documentary about the events in Tulsa.

“Just like any showcase of black trauma that every black person engages with, I was filled with rage and sadness, and I was extremely triggered. I had a studio session the day after with Greg, and on the bus ride to the studio, I was hit with the chorus melody and it was relentlessly playing in my head so I buried myself in my hoodie to record a voice memo just in case I wouldn’t forget. As soon as I got to the studio, I sent Greg the recording and while he was coming up with the drum loop, I just kept writing and writing, and in thirty minutes the entire song was written.”

In recent years Moonga K. has been coming to terms with his own growth as a young black man and he feels compelled to explore that experience through his music. In a recent TV interview the young artist also spoke about how important it is for him to be a part of eradicating gender-based violence and he now has a 20.000-word dissertation to prove his commitment.

Check out the single, black, free & beautiful below which is out now on all platforms.

Cover photo by Hylton Boucher (photo retrieved from Moonga K.’s Facebook page).

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Amythyst Kiah Reshapes Her Protest Song ‘Black Myself’ And It Is A Banging Version

Since the 2019 release of the spectacular album Songs Of Our Native Daughters we have been following the outstanding and powerful voice of Amythyst Kiah as well as the voices of her fellow musicians that made up the band behind the album, namely Rhiannon Giddens, Leyla McCalla, and Allison Russell.

Now Kiah has reimagined and reshaped one of the standout tracks on the before mentioned album, a song she herself had been carrying around in her mind for some time before releasing it with the band.

Black Myself is a powerful expression of how it can be to live life as a black LGBTQ+ woman in the Southern parts of the US and one of the singles of Kiah’s newly released album Wary + Strange.

“I don’t pass the test of the paper bag
‘Cause I’m black myself
I pick the banjo up and they sneer at me
‘Cause I’m black myself
You better lock your doors when I walk by
‘Cause I’m black myself
You look me in my eyes but you don’t see me
‘Cause I’m black myself”

Kiah’s voice soars and rips through the song in front of hard hitting drums and groovy strings. This woman is a star in the making and fortunately, it seems she will use her talents, in future projects, to make a positive impact and create change in this world. Check out the song below and be sure to check out her new album via her webpage.

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Sons Of Kemet Release A Powerful, Political Jazz Record To Dance To

Sons of Kemet have never been known to stay stuck in the same path. The band is more of a collaborative effort, that has changed through the years, but guided by the brilliant jazz mind of Shabaka Hutchings. On Black To The Future (Impulse!, 2021) the saxophonist and clarinet player has with him Theon Cross on tuba and Edward Wakili-Hick and Tom Skinner on percussion. In addition, the jazz music they create is, on some tracks, fused with spoken word, song, and rap.

The opening track sets the theme. Under a build-up of horn instruments and percussion, poet Joshua Idehen performs a powerful spoken-word piece that explores the past and present of his people’s oppression. He’s certainly angry and tired which he makes clear.

“Thank you
For refusing me that inch
Because now I do recognise your yardstick
The scales have toppled
The curtains have collapsed
The blonde baboon’s arse is bare in the open
And I am a field negro now
I do not want your equality
It was never yours to give me
And even then it was too minor, too little, too late
Pull the balaclava over my heart and set it running
My revolution rides a black horse and it is stunning”

Another track, Hustle, has a deep, strong beat to it that makes one want to stand up and march in rhythm. The chorus, “Born from the mud with the hustle inside me”, repeats in such a way that it becomes a mantra that one can imagine thousands of people chanting on the street while demanding change.

For those that think jazz can be heavy on the ears, have no worry. This is not as experimental as Hutchings could easily have made it. This is more dance-able and if anything, full of fire. A subtle type of fire that will make you want to move your way in rhythm to the protest.

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