Enjoying Africa in the Coke Studio

Music on its own has a unique uniting factor; the sounds, the rhythm, the lyrics bring people from different walks of life together. It’s no surprise musicians from different walks of life also do collabos that widen the scope of this influence.

What I feel Coke Studio Africa does is make it more intentional. You have artists come from East, West, South and even off the coast of Africa (not to mention a son or daughter of the Land in the USA)to collaborate. You have the Swahili, Luganda, Xhosa, Portuguese, English and French speakers sing each others’ songs even when they might not understand it.

As a concept, I first thought that it was a competition like Rated Next or like a reality show. However, you’d never hear of a winner. I think I got the gist of things this year.

So I finally watched my entire first season of #CokeStudioAfrica. Well before it’s something I had been via Youtube. And I think one of the most memorable songs that hooked me on Youtube was the one that had Rema and Trey Songz, Yemi Alade, Serge Beynaud,  and & Emtee…It was called “Follow Me”.

But back to this season. There’s a way you enjoy Africa by just watching the show. Here’s what I mean.

Plaster your eyes on the Fashion

African fashion looks dope. You just have to look at the dynamic duo of Mafikizolo or Yemi Alade, Dela, Falz, even Bebe… It’s refreshing to see an African identity in form of fashion stand out even in the music. The colours reach out to you, the designs, sometimes you can almost touch the fabric. The artists looked good. The fashion emphasised how “fashionable” African fashion is.

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Creativity

DJ Maphorisa. Masterkraft. GospelontheBeatz. Shado Chris and more…The producers on the show came together to create over 20 originals. My goodness these songs do soung good. Check out some of the top 3 via Youtube here:

Alikiba, Patoranking and Masterkraft: Katika

Don’t Know – Khaligraph Jones and Bruce Melodie

Nasty C, Runtown & Shado Chris: Said


Versatility

Let’s talk about the fusions. I am a hiphop fan and seeing different forms of music come together whether it was in forms of covers, or original songs was quite entertaining. Did you catch that Falzthebahdguy take on Bebe’s I will love you everyday?  Or Nyashinski’s take on Mafikizolo’s Khona and my favourite – Khaligraph and Bruce Melodie on that Don’t Know track? However, perhaps the best was not just the fusions but how Jason Derulo linked up with other African artistes to make that “shake your body” sound.

 

Food is good. 🙂

Some of the most interesting conversations came through over a meal or a drink. Whether it was Sauti Sol and Chidinma roasting maize together or when Bisa Kdei and Eddy Kenzo talk about their history over Bisa’s favourite childhood meal or Asegegnew talking issues like women empowerment with Sheebah over a popular Ethiopian dish…those moments made me there were more artist engagements outside the studio.

Christmas

For me this was the surprise. Even more surprising than Jason Derulo. African artists putting their sound on favourite Christmas music. I don’t have to say a lot about this – enjoy that episode here.

I guess, for me, #CokeStudioAfrica is about enjoying Africa in the studio – where heart meets souls meets rhythm meets culture meets creativity. Here is some of my top songs of this season in no particular order. I have already mentioned some of the others above.

5. Joey B and Amanda Black: Thula Gbovi (Throwback)

4. Lydia Jazmine and Liloca: Njabala(Throwback)

3. Mafikizolo, Nyashinski and Nameless: Coming Home

2. Chidinma Live and Die in Africa (Cover)

1.Yemi Alade, Youssoupha and Killbeatz : Hustler

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