Afro-pop rising star Wiyaala brings ‘Peace’ to the world and new self-titled album Wiyaala

She’s the only woman in the world singing in Sissala – and she will mesmerize you

CNN Africa

Wiyaala is a feisty young woman from northern Ghana, bursting with attitude and drive

BBC News – World – Africa

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Africa on the Blog

Set to play WOMAD this year, multi-award winning Afro-pop songstress Wiyaala has come a long way since her humble background growing up in the small Ghanaian village of Funsi.

The last few years have seen Wiyaala rise from rags to riches. Now on the cusp of becoming a worldwide star, the singer hopes to inspire others by spreading her message of love and peace, whilst also raising awareness of the injustices still taking place to this day in third-world countries all over the world.

Her new self-titled album Wiyaala has already received nationwide success in Ghana. She now hopes to establish a global audience.

Stream the single ‘Peace’ from the album here on Soundcloud:

https://soundcloud.com/wiyaala/peace

The record is a selection of vibrant Afro-pop anthems sung largely in Sissala, but with a poppy catchiness inspired by Western Culture.

As the singer explains: ‘My album is the product of my environment as a young girl growing up in a West African Village at a time when the influences of Western TV and video first impacted on the African villager …You are hearing my African heritage fusing with the sounds and techniques of western production.’

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Wiyaala rose to recognition after coming first place in a 2012 Vodafone Icons reality show as part of the group Black n Peach, a year earlier emerging as the second runner-up in Ghana’s Stars of the Future talent show. She has become famous despite little radio airplay, rejecting the music industry’s ruthless commercialist side and becoming famous as a result of her live performances and what she stands for. Grace Jones, Tina Turner and Angelique Kidjo are artists that she is sometimes compared to.

Often referred to as the ‘Young Lioness of Africa’, she has become renowned for her activism, working to abolish child marriage and abuse in her home continent  as well as campaigning for women’s right to education – freedoms that we take for granted here in the Western world.

Her fierce ideals are a result of her impoverished upbringing and being a first-hand witness to social injustice. ‘At school, I have seen young teenage girls pulled out of the classroom to be married off. The next time you see them they are pregnant and selling pepper in the market… When I was small, we were often hungry. Sometimes we would catch a mouse, roast it and share it amongst 3 or 4 children.’

She is currently working on projects with The Ministry of Gender and Child Protection and UNICEF in Ghana.

Stream the single ‘Timbanayi’ from the album here on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/wiyaala/tinambanyi-here-we-come

Watch the video for ‘Leno’ from the album here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFoRw-gPH6Q

Links:

https://www.facebook.com/wiyaala

https://soundcloud.com/wiyaala

https://twitter.com/Wiyaala

http://wiyaala.com/

Shiny new soul/trap from Kaytranada and Anderson. Paak

Electronic producer Kaytranada has teamed up with soul singer/rapper Anderson. Paak resulting in this insane track. Rapping in a unique lazy flow, Paak’s chilled tone perfectly matches the trippy trap laid down by Kaytranada. This is followed by a glorious beat change at the three minute mark, Paak exchanging spitting for soulful singing over some shimmering keys. The duo are sounding deadly here.

‘Glowed Up’ is set to appear on Kaytranada’s upcoming album 99.9%.

Upbeat and inspirational new electro-pop single ‘Step by Step’ by Challan Carmichael

Up-and-coming UK singer, Challan Carmichael, delivers this new feel good single ‘Step by Step’ out June 3rd. Sporting a fantastic hook and a bubbly electropop beat, the track has all the ingredients of a catchy pop song, made all the more engaging by its positive and life-affirming lyrics. Challan Carmichael is Fresh, Original and Inspiring.

Listen to the track here: https://soundcloud.com/challancarmichael/step-by-step-challan-carmichael

I love good wholesome music and am very aware of how music can help you to motivate and uplift,’ explains the singer.  ‘In the current climate with so much negativity in the world it is very easy to be bombarded with negative images and messages continuously. Sometimes it is good to focus on the positive side and also positive messages so that we can remember it is not all doom and gloom.

A devout Christian, Challan invited 10 local children from his church to sing on the track’s chorus. Ideals of humanity and philanthropy play a major part in his lyrics, themes that are applicable not just to his own faith but to people from all walks of life.

Challan takes influence from artists such as Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston and Billy Ocean. As well as singing, he has long had a keen interest in dance, self-teaching himself as a child from watching Michael Jackson videos and streetdance. In 1988, he was lucky enough to get front row tickets to King of Pop’s BAD concert, a surprise gift from his au-pair.

Unafraid to challenge himself, Challan joined the Territorial army in his twenties, having a desire to push himself both physically and mentally. Around the same time he also got involved with artist tour management.

Having worked behind the scenes in the music industry for many years supporting artists such as KC Da Rookee and Ben from Phats and Smalls, Challan is now ready to carve a music career of his own.

The artist has worked with multiple producers including notable names such as Blaze Billions, Paul Nza, Lars Mellow and Klimper Boy. He is currently performing at schools across the UK as part of his Step by Step UK nationwide Schools Tour.

The Nottingham Post has described him as ‘Nottingham’s next MC Hammer’.

An album has been recorded in Germany and will be out soon.

Pre-order now: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/step-by-step-single/id1093444648?ls=1

Links:

https://soundcloud.com/challancarmichael

https://www.facebook.com/challancarmichaelmusic/

https://twitter.com/ChallanC

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCexVQanNA09bzBSj6P4T9ig

https://www.instagram.com/challancarmichael/

www.challancarmichael.co.uk

Voices Of Soul at SSE Arena/Wembley

Patti LaBelle

Featuring some of the greatest soul music and vocals ever written, this exciting November night will fill Wembley with soul thanks to the spectacular, star studded ‘Voices of Soul’ event. Headed by the legendary likes of Patti LaBelle, The Whispers and Soul II Soul, the line-up of award winning stars are preparing for this once in a lifetime opportunity to bring the house down at the SSE Arena, Wembley.

Supported by Smooth Radio and presented by TBH events, the show will be a must-see for fans of true soul music, and for live music fans who want to see how these innovative artists shaped the pop music landscape as we see it today.

At the very top of the bill will be multi-Grammy award winner Patti LaBelle, christened the ‘Godmother of Soul’ thanks to a five decade career that has seen 50 million albums sold. After her 16 years as the lead singer of Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles, LaBelle made the decision to go solo and had several number one hits including ‘If Only You Knew’ and ‘On My Own’, a duet with Michael McDonald. Tremendous critical success followed from Grammy Award winning albums, making her one of the icons of soul music the world over.

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Almost too good to be true, this line-up is one that celebrates the beauty of soul music through the decades, and will make for an unbelievable night of entertainment and spectacle – all taking place at the ‘SSE Arena, Wembley, November 15th.

Ticket outlets:

www.AXS.com (Box Office)
www.Ticketmaster.co.uk

www.Seetickets.com

www.Gigantic.com

Tickets: £50, £60, £75, £80, £100

Promoters: http://www.tbhevents.uk/

‘Watch Yourself’ with Court Royal and brand new single

‘Watch Yourself’ is a grooving triumph, encouraging people to work for what they believe in despite what others think of their talents. It’s a positive message in a world that’s all too negative sometimes, and you can hear it for yourself here:

With the single due on May 29th, the next couple of months are set to be very busy for Court Royal. May 24th sees them play a hugely anticipated show at Goodison Park, the home of Everton Football Club, while in August they will take to the stage as part of the bill at the prestigious Strawberry Fields Festival. And, with an upcoming album already in the bag, it’s unlikely things will quieten down for Court Royal anytime soon.

It all feeds perfectly into the band’s main aim – to bring FUNK back to the UK music scene in 2015. And with previous single ‘Can’t Get Enough’ fast tracked onto the BBC Introducing playlist on the same night as it was uploaded, that target doesn’t feel like an impossible one.

Court Royal

Aside from the music, Court Royal also have something of a unique boast – how many bands can say that two of their members work for the emergency services? Juggling high pressure work like that with creating top class music can’t be easy, but in the case of Court Royal, it is all taken in stride.

Keep an eye on Court Royal in 2015 – ‘Watch Yourself’ is unleashed on May 29th.

Links:

www.facebook.com/CourtRoyalOfficial

www.twitter.com/CourtRoyalMusic

‘Shake It’ Yo’s New Single!

Yo are a rock band ready to take on anything that gets thrown at them and they’ll ace it everytime. After travelling the globe and making homes in various corners of the USA and Europe, the music and song writing draws upon a wealth of inspirations and tales from the road.

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The latest single taken from the album will be the hard hitting, punk laced track ‘Shake It’ – dripping in punchy bass-lines, quasi-spoken vocals and a distinctly trippy sensibility.

You can hear the track here:

Watch the video here:

Single ‘Shake It’ will be available from June 15th.

Links:

https://twitter.com/itmustbeyo

https://www.youtube.com/YoMusic

http://instagram.com/itmustbeyo/

https://www.facebook.com/itmustbeyo