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By Jeané Neal

Mama Africa made us Kings and Queens; and we are the beautiful people. She gave us gold, jewels and textiles. The culture and music is the heartbeat within. Those are two things I would absolutely be empty without. I take pride in being a well-rounded cultured individual.

I’ve had this crazy obsession with African music lately. Forget the words, because honestly I can’t understand (Interpreter PLEASE!), but the beat is what caught my attention. I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts and a new download was released. I decided to give it a listen. The entire episode sounds exactly like soca, zouk, kompa and any other Caribbean music. I mean it’s only natural right? It’s our roots! The rhythm and elements are so similar and while some may think Africa is just land and people running around in cloth, they have seriously been misled.

The latest craze is called Azonto. It is a dance and also a fast beat music genre that originated in Ghana. There are tons of music videos on social media demonstrating the dance and also many artists like Timaya, Iyana, Kcee, P-Square and Wizkid, whose songs are doing it big.

Many mainstream artists are joining forces to do collaborations ie) Machel Montano and Timaya with the ever popular “Shake Up Your Bum Bum Remix.”

Although the movement started in Ghana, Azonto is embraced nationally in Africa and also worldwide. The African and Caribbean fusion “Possessed” by Machel, Kerwin and Ladysmith is like no other and I look forward to many more songs like this to come.

Sometimes you have to divert from the norm to make an impact. Songs get mundane and repetitive and it’s refreshing to hear Azonto on podcasts and in the club. Don’t get me wrong, if Uncle Luke or “Back that ?!!!:!- Up” comes on, I’m out on the dance floor doing the most. However, I felt the need to highlight this genre and give props where it is well overdue.

Check out the video for one of my favorite songs: Iyana-Kukere.

Love and Light!

Joie De Vivre <3

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