Angélique Kidjo brings her ebullient voice and joie de vivre to a landmark album by the Talking Heads.

19/20 Hop Presents

Not long after leaving Benin for Paris in the early '80s, Kidjo fell in love with the Talking Heads' 1980 album Remain in Light. In the decades since, she's become a global superstar who has not only popularized African traditional music but also brought attention to women's rights, cultural preservation and sustainable development. Now she take these songs back to West Africa with explosive percussion and horns and additional lyrics in Fon and other West African languages that call out themes of human dignity and compassion.

In the late 1970s, Talking Heads co-founder David Byrne and the band's producer, Brian Eno, took inspiration from Afrobeat, the energetic and fiercely political music associated with Nigeria's Fela Kuti. That sound served as Remain in Light's rhythmic framework to which the Talking Heads added elliptical lyrics and angular guitars. Four decades later, Kidjo's radiant and compelling voice and band arrangements embolden the original melodies and give Byrne's words deeper meaning. Sharing music Kidjo released on an album in 2018, this Remain in Light is a spectacular reassertion of Africa's rich and vast musical legacy.

“Africa rapturously reclaimed rock …. Kidjo repatriated the grooves in the songs and threaded African words and melodies directly through them.”

New York Times
Cultures in Motion Series Hopkins Center
Cultures in Motion

Isango's Magic Flute entwines Mozart's musical fairy tale with South African stories and dancing. Angélique Kidjo reclaims for Africa the songs of the Talking Heads album Remain in Light . In Amir...

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