RIP Juan Formell, Founder of Cuba’s Los Van Van

We have recently lost many great musicians and artists, including Cheo Feliciano, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and now Juan Formell, the founder of Los Van Van, the band that changed Cuban popular music forever. Formell was also a bassist, singer, composer, ... Read more »

Madagascar Dispatch #2: Salegy Roots in Diego Suarez

We’ve flown to Diego Suarez (Antsiranana) near the northern tip of the island.  Diego has the deepest harbor in the region with a narrow opening that made it easy to defend, and hence the key to controlling the Indian Ocean ...<a class="meta-nav" href=""> Read more &#187;</a>

Popcaan: “Love Yuh Bad”

Last time we checked in on Popcaan, the young dancehall hitmaker was somberly preparing for a photo shoot that never came in the video for the ironically titled “Everything Nice.” On “Love Yuh Bad,” the second single from his forthcoming ...<a class="meta-nav" href=""> Read more &#187;</a>

Xyclone’s “Almost There” Mix

Xyclone has made a serious statement with the release of his brand new Almost There mixtape. The dancehall up-and-comer busts out 37 tracks over the course of this hour-long, highlight-packed mix. Relatively new to the dancehall scene, Xyclone is a ...<a class="meta-nav" href=""> Read more &#187;</a>

OkMalumKoolKat: Internet Jetset Zuper

South African rapper OkMalumKoolKat has released the single &#8220;Internet Jetset Zuper&#8221; as part of the Obey You Collective: South Africa Series from The Fader and Sprite. Oh yeah, it&#8217;s also his debut as a producer. Turn it up! We first featured ...<a class="meta-nav" href=""> Read more &#187;</a>

Afropop Syli d’Or Award: Rara Soley

The final gala concert of the eighth edition of the Syli d&#8217;Or (Golden Elephant) concert series and contest took place May 1  at Montreal&#8217;s Cabaret du Mile-End. While we could not attend in person, we have been closely following the ...<a class="meta-nav" href=""> Read more &#187;</a>

Video: iFani’s “iingoma Ezimnandi”

Although he has had his share of setbacks&#8211;including losing a major-label deal with Sony and getting carjacked and kidnapped&#8211; iFani has ascended quite rapidly to South African stardom. We covered that rise in last year’s “South Africa Today” program. After ...<a class="meta-nav" href=""> Read more &#187;</a>

Field Report: Madagascar Arrival…

We&#8217;ve safely arrived in the capital Antananarivo (called Tana for short) and are enjoying a warm welcome with musician friends. The first night we were greeted by Hanitra, leader of Tarika Be (fearless leader for the Afropop listeners&#8217; tour of ...<a class="meta-nav" href=""> Read more &#187;</a>

Explosion! Big Freedia Drops New Single

The best-known name in bounce, the New Orleans-based hip-hop varietal that&#8217;s received national attention for its gender-bending dance-floor frenzy, is getting ready for her musical closeup. And we can&#8217;t wait. Fresh from the first season of her (happily renewed) reality ...<a class="meta-nav" href=""> Read more &#187;</a>

Free Summer Concert Lineups Announced

Summer&#8217;s almost here! Almost, &#8217;cause it is still pretty cold and rainy in NYC right now. But, hypothetical warm weather aside, one of the best things about summer in NYC is the host of concerts available throughout the city. And ...<a class="meta-nav" href=""> Read more &#187;</a>