We’re proud to announce the next season of our podcast series, Afropop Closeup. Away from our first home on terrestrial radio, Closeups allow us to do a different kind of show—looking at the politics, religion and culture behind the music that we love, via shorter pieces about the world this music moves through.
With Banning Eyre's piece, premiering today, this season will look at music and activism both far away and close to home. Stateside, Dan Rosenberg travels to the Grammys to talk to Fatoumata Diawara, Seun Kuti, the Soweto Gospel Choir and others, about how they use their growing platforms to speak against human rights abuses, political corruption and violence against women. Morgan Greenstreet and Ricardo Luiggi report on New York’s stalwart but always-evolving Afro-Cuban rumba scene.
Further afield, we travel to Brazil, where Ben Richmond talks to musicians, academics, and even the host of a Brazilian public radio show about Africa, with whom we discussed the country’s right-wing government, and heard the first Bolsonaro protest songs. Banning Eyre talks to the Malawian musician Lazarus about his activism on behalf of individuals with albinism, who suffer from stigma across the continent. Elodie Maillot explores the Francophonie of the painful but oft-overlooked decade before independence swept West Africa in the 1960s. And Sebastian Bouknight interviews Manolo, a veteran rapper from Cape Verde trying to make his name and a lane in the folk music-centered scene in the islands.
It’ll be unfolding on alternating weeks across the summer, straight to your podcasting device or via Soundcloud. Stay tuned--it’s time for your Closeup.