SOCIETY HAE

Change The World, Create Something!

"They Wear All-Stars in Africa" - SXSW turns its lens on African PoP Culture



With the growing popularity of new artists such as Nneka, African Boy, Mpho or Last Year’s Tragedy, it is no surprise that contemporary African music found solid footing at this year’s South by Southwest Music conference in Austin. Ngozi Odita, Founder of Society HAE, moderated the 5 member panel on 21st Century African Music, which took a closer look at the evolution of African music, its presentation in the media, and some of the challenges related to marketing music for a relatively young genre. Contributing to the dialogue were Ben Herson, founder of fair trade record label Nomadic Wax; Esau Mwamwaya, Malawian singer, and member of The Very Best, Toni Blackman, Cultural Ambassador for the US Dept of State and Founder of Freestyle Union/Lyrical Embassy and Yolanda Sangweni, South African singer/songwriter and founder of AfriPOPmag!


Today’s African music scene is largely created and appreciated by self-identified Afripolitans, a rapidly expanding demographic of young Africans in their 20s and 30s who have carved out a cosmopolitan world perspective for themselves. The South African band the Blk Jks, redefined Africa’s image when they appeared in Rolling Stone and Fader, wearing (Converse) All-Stars and skinny jeans. Yolanda Sangweni of Afripop magazine pointed out that Blk Jks rise in New York’s hipster scene had people coming up to her and marveling at the fact that people wore All-Stars in Africa. People in the west are largely unaware of how much African pop culture has evolved. Despite the stereotypical images rotated in the media, Africa is producing its fair share of original content. Artists no longer want their work to exclusively be classified as only African or only as World music. Some artists who would naturally fall into this camp have figured out how to forgo this labeling quagmire by simply promoting their own music via the Internet. Ben Herson of Nomadic wax addressed the implications of this development “-if people are able to connect emotionally to an artist that’s from Africa, and it’s someone who’s hot or being played on the radio or internet radio or whatever way they are connecting with them, they become much more open and much more inclined to actually have some sort of comprehension of what’s happening in that country or in that region, outside of just music itself.” Esau Mwamwaya reinforced Herson’s message of bridging cultural gaps through music, “-if somebody can feel something even if they don’t understand, that alone does the work, it is enough to inspire somebody to do something good.” These powerful sentiments do not only speak to the importance of engaging Africa on its ow terms, but also touch upon the potential impact an open dialogue with African culture could have on society as a whole.

Views: 100

Tags: Africa, All, Converse, Lawol, Stars, Susan, Sxsw

Comment by Lex on March 26, 2010 at 11:45am
"Africa on its own terms" is a concept worth propagating.

Comment

You need to be a member of SOCIETY HAE to add comments!

Join SOCIETY HAE

SHAE NETWORK

  Facebook Twitter Blog RSS YouTube

SUPPORT SHAE


HELP US CHANGE THE WORLD THROUGH ART
Your donation enables us to continue to provide a platform for emerging artists as well as offer free arts & culture programming for the greater community at large.

SHAE NEWS

Team SHAE made the The Root's 2012 "Black Bloggers You Should Know" list.

SOCIETY SOUNDS

Check out the AFRIKA21 Mixtape vol4 - The SXSW Edition & Your Soundtrack To The New African Renaissance

 

Badge

Loading…

Events

Latest Activity

British Urban Film Festival posted a status
"SIGN UP HERE: If you haven't already, please copy and paste this link to get the BUFF blog & newsletter …http://j.mp/RFcQEt"
Monday
British Urban Film Festival posted a blog post

The #buffblog (April 2014)

The Easter holidays. For many it will be one of the first dates in the diary to look out for at the start of the year when it comes to taking time out and getting away from the hustle. For most filmmakers (who are always on the hustle), it will also mean that the Cannes Film Festival is just weeks away. At last year’s event, there was only 1 British film in competition for the prestigious Palme d’Or and Un Certain Regard. Even then, it’s arguable whether a film directed by an American and…See More
Sunday
British Urban Film Festival posted a status
"Read this month's edition of the blog by BUFF's Nadia Denton currently in festival mode at Tribeca 2014 - available at http://j.mp/1dryrVr"
Sunday
Profile IconSociety HAE via Facebook
Thumbnail

Reason 1287366778 to love NAS. The Illmatic one himself has joined with Google and Microsoft to fund the General Assembly's institutional Opportunity Fund offering scholarships to women, veterans, African-Americans, and Latinos, all groups who have historically and systematically been denied equal access to the sciences.…

See More
FacebookSunday · Reply
Profile IconSociety HAE via Facebook
Thumbnail

Awesomeness from Afropunk by way of Ethiopia.

Timeline Photos

AFRO OF THE DAY #447: #ThrowbackFro - Ethiopian Freedom Fighters #afro #natural #black #hair #yearoftheafro

Afropunk

FacebookSunday · Reply
Profile IconSociety HAE via Facebook
Thumbnail

Watch: Rare early performance footage of Fela Kuti & Afrika 70 shot by legendary drummer GINGER BAKER OFFICIAL FAN PAGE.

Fela in performance (1971)

rare early footage (shot by Ginger Baker) featuring Fela & Afrika 70 performing in the rainy southeastern town of Calabar, shortly after the the Nigerian civ...

FacebookSaturday · Reply
Profile IconSociety HAE via Facebook
Thumbnail

Watch the Leo Lyxxx-animated video for William Onyeabor's "Atomic Bomb."

William Onyeabor - Atomic Bomb (Official)

Support William Onyeabor on iTunes http://georiot.co/1uDa or Amazon http://smarturl.it/onyeabor. Follow at https://www.facebook.com/WilliamOnyeabor Original ...

FacebookApr 18 · Reply
Profile IconSociety HAE via Facebook
Thumbnail

Red Bull Music Academy is slated to honor Nigerian Funk phenom & pioneer William Onyeabor next month in New York City at the Brooklyn Academy of Music! The celebration will include performances by Dev Hynes of Blood Orange, David Byrne, Alexis Taylor (Hot Chip) and others!

ATOMIC BOMB! The Music of William Onyeabor

www.bam.org

A diverse lineup of musicians celebrate legendary…

See More
FacebookApr 18 · Reply

Centered on fashion, music, art and culture, Society HAE serves as a point of convergence for creative minds across the globe.

© 2014   Created by Ngozi Odita.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service