Angelique Kidjo, the Beninese-American singer, has rejected the term “world music” saying it does not fit in today’s musical context. Interviewed by CNN’s Christianne Amanpour, the Grammy-winning top star said today’s global music has everything to do with the African continent.
…we haven’t learned yet, that every music that we do today comes from Africa. We like it or not, that’s just the simple fact and truth of it.Angelique Kidjo
Kidjo does not, however, reject other artistic contributions to music. Nevertheless, she insists that today’s global music is endemically of African roots.
In addition to her reflection on slavery’s 400th anniversary in America, the musical diva traced the origins of today’s “world music” to slave songs in the plantations.
No such thing as world music or pure race
The racialization of art has sometimes given rise to such concepts as “world music”. To kidjo, however, the African essence in all genres of today’s music makes all peoples one.
…for me, music is just what we are; the mixture that we are from the beginning. As a human being, we are mixed and there’s no such thing as a pure race.Kidjo
Forbes named kidjo among “The 40 most powerful celebrities in Africa”. She is also “The undisputed queen of African music”, according to the Daily telegraph.
In addition to this, you can read more about strong Black Women in our current issue of EboniGram Magazine.