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Articles on African music

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A studio group portrait of the Fisk University Jubilee singers. James Wallace Black/American Missionary Association

The power of a song in a strange land

Spirituals were created out of the experience of enslaved people in the US. They weren't songs of anger – but of an abiding belief in the victory of good over evil.
A billboard in Nairobi for Safaricom, Kenya’s largest mobile service provider, featuring veteran rapper and producer Jua Cali. Andrew J Eisenberg

How African countries are doing in ballooning digital music revenues

The political economy of music distribution goes unchecked. Despite increased digital revenues, also across Africa, music markets remain characterised by bottlenecks between musicians and audiences.
Papa Wemba’s coffin at a memorial in Kinshasa on May 3 2016. EPA/Habibou Bangre

Papa Wemba: active ambassador for Congolese urban music

Papa Wemba was one of the most active ambassadors of Congolese urban music on the global stage. He did this by fusing international musical styles with authentic Congolese grooves.

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