Global pop star and three-time Grammy winner Angélique Kidjo has partnered with super producer Jeff Bhasker (Rihanna, Kanye West, Harry Styles, Bruno Mars, Drake, Jay-Z) to create Remain In Light - a new project that finds the Benin-born artist reclaiming rock for Africa, bringing the Talking Heads' landmark 1980 album full circle. The record is a track-by-track re-imagination of the original, considered to be one of the greatest albums of the ‘80s and deeply influenced by music from West Africa, notably Fela Kuti's afrobeat. With her version of Remain In Light, released on June 8 on Kravenworks Records, Angélique celebrates the genius of Talking Heads, Brian Eno and the touchstones that made the original so revered and injects it with her euphoric singing, explosive percussion, horn orchestrations, and select lyrics performed in languages from her home country.
Remain In Light features appearances by Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend, Blood Orange, Tony Allen, Antibalas Horns, Angélique’s longtime guitarist Dominic James, and Magatte Sow (percussionist for the Black Panther film score). Visual artist Kerry James Marshall collaborated on the album artwork. “As Remain In Light was influenced by the music of my continent, I want to pay back the homage and create my own African take on Talking Heads’ songs,” says Angélique. “We all know that rock music came from the blues and thus from Africa. Now is the time to bring rock back to Africa, connect our minds, and bring all our sounds to a new level of sharing and understanding.”
This album is the culmination of Angélique’s deep-rooted love and respect for the original: she performed it in full at Carnegie Hall last year to raves (with the New York Times declaring, ”Ms. Kidjo isn’t toppling an icon; she is dancing on its heights”) and was joined by David Byrne on stage. She also performed it at Bonnaroo.
Angélique Kidjo is known for her visionary music and her wide-ranging activist efforts. She is a three-time Grammy winner whom NPR has called “Africa’s greatest living diva.” Angélique has collaborated with Alicia Keys, Bono, Carlos Santana and countless more, and her “Ifé” project found her performing three all-new Phillip Glass compositions in the Yoruba language. Angélique travels the world advocating on behalf of children in her capacity as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador while her charitable foundation, Batonga, is dedicated to supporting the education of young girls in Africa. The Guardian has named Angélique one of its “Most Inspiring Women in the World.”
June 08 – London, UK @ Royal Festival Hall*
* - ‘Remain in Light’ performance