Baxsan's tumultuous six-decade journey as a singer was irrevocably tied to Somalia's national identity and cultural history.
Like Pata-Pata, Homeless and Mbube, the song Jerusalema is elevated by a historical moment in time and has the power to cross over to different audiences.
During the coronavirus pandemic the Jerusalema dance challenge enacted a way for communities to connect - repetitive enough to be picked up and varied enough to tease.
The artist's body of work, through its very public focus on queer masculinity, offers alternative ways of thinking about what being a man is.
His single Yeke Yeke was the first African song to pass a million in sales, but it's meaning was best understood in Guinea, home of the griot and kora star.
Her sensitive new album is rooted at home in South Africa while at the same time journeying to Mali, where it was recorded and co-produced with Salif Keita.
Looking at his brilliant career is looking into Algeria’s relationship with its history and identity, but also questioning what it means to be exiled.
The composer, performer and poet was an artistic pioneer of lasting and distinctive gifts, and bottomless stamina. He gave us over 70 years of high-octane Somali musical mastery.
The saxophonist and singer leaves a legacy spanning more than 60 years of musical production that will continue to echo in global sounds.
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.
Johnny Clegg was a prophet, even if the ideal future he prophesied has not yet come to pass.
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.
There are many sub-genres of Hip Hop, so why is all non-Anglophone music lumped under the label 'world music'?
For the enslaved Africans, music – rhythm in particular – became a tool of communication about their conditions. Later, it laid the foundation for spirituals and gospel songs.
The search for old or new African sounds is based around a nostalgia culture that is endemic to Anglo-American popular music.
The Congolese album ‘Nangadeef’ remains largely unexplored, despite its genius. As a rich repository of Afrofuturistic data, it deserves to be delved into by lovers of African art.
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.
Congolese singer Papa Wemba might have been one of Africa's best loved musicians - but his politics wasn't popular with all his compatriots.
Non-commercial arts organisations face a funding dilemma. Confronted with limited local support, they are forced to rely on inconsistent international donors.