Angélique Kidjo will release a new album, Sings, on March 31 via 429 Records. Produced by Kidjo and husband/long-time production partner Jean Hebrail, Sings showcases Kidjo’s collaboration with the 110-piece Orchestre Philharmonique Du Luxembourg, led by renowned conductor and composer Gast Waltzing. A video trailer may be viewed here, and Sings is available for preorder on iTunes here.
On the new album Kidjo re-imagines nine classic songs from her expansive repertoire and two new songs (“Otishe” and “Nanae” from the Eve sessions), blending European classical traditions with the powerful rhythmic sounds of her native West Africa. Along with the orchestra, Kidjo’s additional players include Christian McBride and Massimo Biolcati on upright bass; Lionel Loueke, Dominic James and David Laborier on guitar; Magatte Sow, Crespin Tpikiti and Benoit Avihoue on percussion; Tuelo Kgobokoe Tsholofetso and Mokubung singing background vocals; and Gast Waltzing soloing flugelhorn on “Samba Pa Ti.” “The orchestra brings different textures to my life and music,” explains Kidjo. “Unlike in pop music, the orchestra doesn’t follow you, it leads and dares you to follow it. If you don’t do this successfully, the songs suffer and the communication is lost. But I love the challenge of doing new things. I never want to get too comfortable with what I’m doing, and I love my work too much to repeat myself.” See below for full track listing.
Kidjo’s accolades span a 20-year discography and thousands of concerts around the world. TIME Magazine has called her “Africa’s premier diva” and London’s Daily Telegraph named her “the undisputed Queen of African Music.” Kidjo’s 2008 LP Djin Djin won a Grammy for “Best Contemporary World Music Album” and her last studio recording, Oyo, was nominated in the same category. She has enjoyed a long history of notable collaborations with greats from the jazz and pop worlds, including Carlos Santana, Bono, John Legend, Josh Groban, Peter Gabriel, Branford Marsalis, Dianne Reeves, Roy Hargrove and Alicia Keys. In an expansive career marked as much by extraordinary musical achievement as passionate advocacy and philanthropy for her African homeland, Kidjo has found many ways to celebrate the rich, enlightening truth about the continent’s women beyond the media spotlight.
SINGS TRACK LIST
7. Petite Fleur
8. Samba Pa Ti