Les Amazones d’Afrique drop their Republique Amazone LP on March 10th and the album is a future classic. This all female collective of West African artists (below) are campaigning for gender equality through their music. Their members are Angélique Kidjo (global superstar and UNICEF ambassador), Kandia Kouyaté (Mali’s greatest living griotte), Mamani Keita (former singer in Salif Keita’s band), Mariam Doumbia (of Amadou and Mariam), Mariam Koné (up and coming singer), Massan Coulibaly (Malian singer), Mouneissa Tandina (one of Mali’s rare female drummers), Nneka (young Nigerian hip hop artist), Pamela Badjogo (jazz singer) and Rokia Koné (up and coming Malian singer).
The LP on Realworld is funky, blues tinged, dubwise and tinged with African rhythms and electronic witchery. Their messages are sung in English, French and Mandingo and cover themes from domestic violence, land rights and FGM. The band also raise money for the Panzi Foundation, which has treated approximately 86,000 girls and women with gynecological injuries in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Emel (above) released her sophomore LP at the end of last month. Don’t let it pass you by. The singer rose to prominence during the Arab Spring when her recording Kelmti Horra (My Word Is Free) became a viral anthem. Emel displays an exceptionally wide vocal range and there are a diverse array of acoustic and electronic influences present – the Tunisian cites influence from James Blake to Egyptian composer Sheikh Imam. The LP on Partisan Records was recorded over seven countries and two continents.
Yasmine Hamdan (right) will release her Al Jamilat LP at the end of the month.
She combines Western pop and folk influences with her unique take on Arabic music and politics and culture in the Middle East. Also involved are UK Producers Luke Smith (Foals, Depeche Mode) and Leo Abrahams (Brian Eno, Carl Barat).
It’s released on Crammed Discs on March 31st.
Finally, Juana Molina’s Halo LP is not out until May, but it seems a suitable time to mention this incredible forthcoming release. It’s the seventh album by this artist (pictured below) and was recorded in her home studio near Buenos Aires and in Sonic Ranch Studio in Texas.
Listen to some tracks by these artists on this WTM International Women’s Day mix (full tracklist available on mix page, click on the box):