Those looking for a soundtrack to the surge of pride that’s gaining momentum throughout the land ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ need look no further than Sony Music’s upcoming release, ‘Hello Afrika’.
Due to hit shelves on May 31st, ‘Hello Afrika’ is an accessibly-priced, double-disc that provides a platform for close to 40 artists from across the African continent and the Diaspora to express their passion and support for the first FIFA World Cup to be staged on home soil.
“Hello Afrika” showcases the brilliance and unparalled diversity of Africa’s musical talent.
“There was never any way that the different musical styles and artists from South Africa and the rest of the continent could fit on one official album and so the idea of a double album of strictly African artists was conceived,” a Sony Music Africa spokesperson says.
‘Hello Afrika’ is the perfect musical festival companion piece to the FIFA World Cup South Africa™ football festival – based, as it is, around songs by African artists who feel so passionately about the world’s biggest sporting event that they have written and recorded hit tracks specifically for it.
Leading the charge is iconic South African Afro-folk singer-songwriter, Vusi Mahlasela, whose anthem for returning exiles and political prisoners, ‘When You Come Back’, has been re-recorded in gooseflesh-raising style and is being used as the theme song for the tournament by UK broadcaster, ITV.
Mahlasela is joined by a host of other South African artists – many (like Ternielle Nelson, Jason Hartman, UJU, Louise Carver, Aya and Deep Level on ‘Shosholoza 2010’ and Ntando, Jason Hartman, Nhlanhla Nciza, Kesha, Teargas and Siphokazi on ‘Rise Up Mzanzi’) singing together for the first time and creating music magic along the way.
Also underscoring the wide-ranging musical talent of the host country are the likes of multi-award winning Afro-pop stars, Freshlyground and Malaika, hip hop artist Capsolys, rockers The Parlotones, Arno Carstens and Just Jinjer (in a remix featuring Tumi), urban dance innovators Brothers of Peace, jazz singer Lorraine Klaasen, Sotho group Tau Ea Matsekha, singer Kethi and kwaito trio TKZee in a unique mash-up with electronica duo Goldfish. South African-born, US-based DJ and producer, Gavin Hardkiss adds a global sheen to the mix with the track “Mundo Via Afrika (House Mix)” featuring Rita Bonita.
In the spirit of pan-Africanism that defines 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™, ‘Hello Afrika’ also features some of the continent’s best loved artists, among them Kenya’s ‘Nameless’ whose moving ‘Coming Home’ about an African player who must leave his family to play abroad, is one of the double-album’s treasures.
Veteran Ivory Coast act Magic System adds fire to the mix with the track ‘Zouglou Dance’ and there are amazing contributions from Nigeria’s Nneka and M.I., Senegal’s Moh Dediouf and Barbados-born, German-based Judy Bailey (in a collaboration with UJU). A superb multi-artist offering is ‘Africa’s Moment’, performed by Ghana’s Lynx collaboration featuring several performers from the West African country including Richie, Asem, Zigi, Eazzy and OJ.
Finally, helping turn ‘Hello Afrika’ into something lasting and truly special is the United Nations song ‘8 Goals Away’ that highlights the importance of the eight Millennium Development Goals created by the UN.
This inspirational song brings together Benin’s Angelique Kidjo, Senegal’s Baaba Maal, Mozambique’s Mingas, Kenya’s Eric Wainaine, South Africa’s Yvonne Chaka Chaka, HHP, Soweto Gospel Choir and Hugh Masekela and Zimbabwe’s Oliver Mtukudzi – and its expansive lyrical and musical themes sum up ‘Hello Afrika’s’ intention to be the definitive all-African music compilation in a time of unity and celebration.
* ‘Hello Afrika’ released on May 31st through Sony Music Entertainment Africa.