Image credit: Bila Wa movement: (Photo/Bila Wa movement/Facebook)
Uganda: Bila Wa movement
On the eastern side of the continent, coming from a part of the world known for a 20-year war, Joseph Kony, and child soldiers, a young group of artistes are changing the reputation of northern Uganda. The Bila Wa movement is a rap musical phenomenon, driven by youth from Gulu, Ugandan that fuses poetry and hip-hop with the languages and the storytelling culture native to that region. The fusion of local instruments with witty rhythmic lyrics makes this genre of music truly unique. This platform is a novel sound to be reckoned with and an artist such as MC Wang Jok exemplifies the sonic creativity within this rap crew.
Image credit: Die Antwoord: (Photo/Die Antwoord/Facebook)
South Africa: Die Antwoord
Hailing from the Southern part of the continent, and well known for their avant-garde style, Die Antwoord (Afrikaans for “The Answer”) are a musical group whose visual aesthetic and in-your-face aggressive lyrics have garnered them international notoriety. The group comprises vocalists Ninja and Yolandi Visser, and DJ Hi-Tek produces their music. Formed in Cape Town in 2008, they perform a style of rap-rave music, with futuristic overtones and inspired by zef counterculture. They aim to “shock” and seek to use their art to wake people up. They are an alternative internet sensation and their videos and songs are highly provocative and unusual.
Nastio mosquito: (Photo/Nástio Mosquito/Facebook)
Angola: Nastio mosquito
Another musical entity gaining a reputation for visual as much as sonic outputs is the Angolan performance artist Nastio mosquito. He is a multimedia performance artist who works through different mediums and whose creative outputs tend to defy easy characterisation. One might describe his sounds as provocatively sexual Lusophone house music. He combines music videos, spoken word, motivational talks, and pop cultural references to produce collages of multimedia artwork that are growing in popularity within avant-garde art circles. Like some of the other artists mentioned, Nastio mosquito seeks to challenge his audience and one never knows what to expect when he performs.
Find out more about artists from Uganda, Congo and Tanzania here.