Videos June 5, 2024
Afropop Top Videos, 6/24: Djely Tapa, Yemi Alade, Manu Chao, Meridian Brothers and more

Here are seven recent videos we know you’ll enjoy. To watch the more Afropop Top Videos, click here.

And remember, if you have suggestions of videos our fans would love, send them to with the subject line “Top Videos 2024.” Enjoy!

Djely Tapa: “Dankoroba”

Montreal-based Djely Tapa is the daughter of Malian griotte extraordinaire Kandia Kouyate. But as we’ve noted on our airwaves, she’s got her eye on the future, specifically the Afro-future. “Dankoroba,” meaning “Women of Influence,” is a tribute to nine powerful women in Malian history, going back to the time of Sunjata in the 13th century. The music showcases her unique ability to honor Mande tradition while asserting savvy modernity. The video filmed in Kita, Mali, a seat of Mande culture, is a feast for the eyes.

Yemi Alade: “Tomorrow”

Nigerian diva Yemi Alade digs into her gospel roots on this uplifting track, lush with female choral vocals that can rival the best South Africa has to offer. She says, “'Tomorrow' is a timeless piece that honors the aspirations of the future and the ongoing pursuit of turning them into achievements. This is a dedication to all those envisioning brighter days, serving as an anthem for champions.”

Meridian Brothers: “Mandala”

Eblis Alvarez, the multi-instrumentalist maestro behind this indie Colombian act once told Afropop Worldwide that he’s a “string guy.” On the forthcoming album 'Mi Latinoamerica Sufre' (out July 12, just before a show at Celebrate Brooklyn on July 19), makes good on that claim with a quirky dive into soukous, highlife, Colombian champeta and Afro-Venezuelan “tambor.” This track features Alvarez playing all the instruments, and making highly original use off guitar, as he constructs a delightful reimagining of Afrofuturistic folklore.

Swanky Kitchen Band: “Beef in the Cane Patch”

The Swanky Kitchen Band preserves a nearly lost tradition of the Cayman Islands (south of Cuba, west of Jamaica). It’s fiddle-driven, outdoor-kitchen, acoustic boogie, not unlike Louisiana’s Cajun music, but with a Caribbean twist. Leader and fiddler Samuel Rose is a modern folklorist with skin in the game. Swanky Kitchen Band will be joined by Jake Blount at globalFEST at Lincoln Center on August 3.

Manu Chao: “Viva Tu”

Manu Chao! What can we say? He’s a global wanderer, a 21st century troubadour, and a producer with an unmistakable golden touch. This song, a teaser for a long-awaited new album, is a celebration of his neighbors: “Long may you live!” The video beautifully employs some sort of AI alchemy to transform a neighborhood rumba party into an encounter between human and quasi-human cartoon characters.

Sauti Sol: “By the River”

This genre-bending Kenyan gospel outfit shows us its gentle, acoustic face in this gorgeous song and video. The song asks profound questions about the “river” of violence directed at women. It’s also a call to action. “I'm standing next to you, by the river. Are we gonna watch her drown or are we gonna save her?” Sauti Sol’s male vocal blend is deeply moving and world-class.

Tekno: “Wayo”

Tekno is a major player in the Nigerian Afrobeats scene. 2.5 billion streams says it all. He recently joined Mr. Eazi’semPawa Africa as a partner. Tekno says, “This strategic alliance with Empawa promises to be a gamechanger for the African music industry and a beacon of opportunity for artists. We look forward to seeing how this partnership will catalyse the growth of emPawa Africa, its artists, and the broader African music ecosystem”, with Mr Eazi adding how, "With this deal with Tekno and Cartel Music, we are ushering in a new phase of emPawa. This phase will see us partnering with African artists at different stages of their career who want to maintain financial and creative freedom, yet move from talent for hire to equity participation. It’s a first-of-its-kind deal for afrobeats”.

“Wayo” is a Nigerian street term for a deceptive scam. In this playful video, he woos, then alienates, then reassures a lover.

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