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Music of Africa: BLK JKS, from South Africa

I often talk about Jazz, I also mention Hip Hop, Rap and R&B but the truth is I like all kind of music (check the Music Archive) because it inspires me to write and create. You may already know my interest for Africa and for the incredible richness and diversity of the people, their history and their culture. If everyone knows the issues some of the countries in Africa are facing (I dedicated several posts about Darfur and Congo), today I want to bring your attention to the often omitted creative and artistic side of Africa. There are a lot of truly great singers and musicians coming from the vast continent and I will share with you three of them I really like (although I could mention many more…), each one delivering a message in his own style : BLK JKS, Bernard Woma and Emmanuel Jal.

I will start this Music of Africa series of posts with BLK JKS (pronounced Black Jacks). Jules Mageba, a friend of mine first sent me an email about the South African group in late 2006, and he wrote: “You like Jazz, you like African music, you’ll love BLK JKS!“. And when I listened to their song SK 1, he was right, I loved it. The song was released on a CD compilation given away with SL Magazine earlier that year and since then, the promising group has become a real phenomenon. Not only in South Africa but all around the world, and if you didn’t hear about them yet then let me tell you you are missing something huge. Linda on lead guitar and vocals, Mpumi on guitar, Tshepang on drums, Molefi on bass; meaningful lyrics supported by a mix of afro alternative rock, jazz, funk, afro-pop, ska, kwaito rhythms…

Go check their Myspace and listen to their music. Also watch the Lakeside (my favorite song) live video below.

Too bad I missed their performance at La Flèche d’Or in Paris last summer…

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