Tastemakers: What's Noisey's Tshepo Mokoena listening to this week?

Tastemakers: What's Noisey's Tshepo Mokoena listening to this week?

Noisey's Tshepo Mokoena on Sinkane's Life & Livin' It

It’s already been a destabilising year for Sinkane. The Sudanese-American musician, with his knack for melding funk, soul and West African syncopated rhythms, lost a major influence and hero when Nigerian electro-funk pioneer William Onyeabor died last month.

Then, he watched his former reality TV star of a president sworn into office.

But on second album, Life & Livin’ It, Ahmed Gallab stays positive. The follow up to 2014’s Mean Love kicks off with a refrain on single U’Huh - a reminder that it’ll all be alright, though recent events may hint otherwise.

“To my sisters who ache, my brothers losing strength: we don’t need to be saved. We’ll make our own way,” Gallab sings, ending with an Arabic assurance that “everything is OK”.

Luckily, as far as this album goes, he’s right. A call to persevere underpins Life. It helps to have someone like Sinkane, a third-culture kid straddling more than one identity, offer up a bit of perspective.

Where Mean Love orbited near Mars, this new offering pulls things back down to earth - you’d probably reflect similarly if your identity linked to Sudan, a country battling its way through inner conflict, and the US, another country seemingly split down the middle between right-wing populism and progressivism.

This album, with thumping basslines and joyous brass, offers a glint of hope. In 2017, that’s the least we can ask for.

Tshepo Mokoena (@TNM_)
Editor, Noisey

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