Angelique Kidjo: Africa’s Premier Diva
According to Time Magazine, singer Angelique Kidjo is “Africa’s premier diva.” Kidjo started out singing traditional music in her native Benin, West Africa when she was a teenager. In 1983, she escaped the conflict-riddled Benin for Paris, where she studied music and eventually signed her first record deal with Island Records. Kidjo has since released 16 albums and won four World Music Grammys. Her latest album, Mother Nature, was released in June and features young African musicians like Sampa the Great and Burna Boy.
On today’s episode Bruce Headlam talks to Angelique Kidjo about the nature of African rhythm and why it can confuse Western musicians. She also explains how she lets her songs dictate what language her lyrics should be in, and how she managed to escape her home country despite being a recognizable national pop star.