Vital Signs, the critically acclaimed pandemic album by Zimbabwean jazz innovator Vee Mukarati, masterfully negotiates the lockdown dilemma of being relevant to your time while staying true to your art. Mukarati swings, meditates and sings on mortality, precarity and alienation on an album that is, at once, deeply personal, richly Zimbabwean and unmistakably global. The Switzerland-based artist discusses navigating the challenges of lockdown creativity in this exclusive interview with This Is Africa.
How a collaborative music project spanning three countries over two continents was made in the depths of a global pandemic.
As the cultural landscape rapidly changes in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, musicians and producers across northern Nigeria have creatively employed various strategies to continue making music. With little government support, musicians have had to creatively adapt and embrace new digital opportunities to survive.
The increased migration of Africans and the global growth of hip hop culture has seen a dynamic new generation of Pan Africanism emerge.
She was a vocalist who sang in every style – from Carmen to UShaka – with equal mastery, popularising classical forms and epitomising ‘the new South Africa’.
The revered trombonist, composer and cultural activist never wished to be ‘the state composer’ but remained political until the end, in service of the people.
Burna Boy’s critical single “20 10 20” highlights the emancipatory triad of protest art, people power movements and social media. Young African protesters are using their own platforms to undermine the coordinated abuses of state violence and censorship.
The Covid-19 pandemic interrupted dynamic Pan-African movements and efforts but artists are regrouping to pursue new opportunities enabled by the internet. Digitally and financially inclusive models are the next step to empower citizens and creatives, circumventing various existing restrictions.
The 2020 African Crossroads headliner Thomas Mapfumo addressed African unity and decolonial sonics in a stellar musical performance largely drawn from his wide and high-octane collection.