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TEDGlobal 2017

Sauti Sol: The rhythm of Afrobeat

Filmed
Views 91,710

From Beyoncé to Drake and beyond, the world is rocking to the rhythm of Afrobeat. Feel the music as Kenyan afro-pop superstars Sauti Sol take the TED stage to perform three songs: "Live and Die in Afrika," "Sura Yako" and "Kuliko Jana."

- Afro-pop innovators
Sauti Sol blends warm resonant pop with traditional Kenyan influences. Their mélange of energetic rhythms has promoted the group to become one of Africa’s most celebrated. Full bio

(Music)
00:15
(Singing) Ooh ooh
00:35
She wants to be rich
00:44
She wants to be famous
00:46
She wants to have lots and lots of money
00:49
Soar above the clouds
00:52
She wanna be free
00:54
Like Nelson Mandela
00:56
Stand tall like a pyramid
00:59
So, so courageous
01:01
No place she'd rather be
01:04
Oh na na na, oh na na na
01:07
And there's no place she'd rather be
01:09
Oh na na na, oh na na na
01:12
Live and die in Afrika
01:13
She wanna live and die in Afrika
01:17
Oh lo lo lo lo
01:21
Live and die in Afrika
01:23
Live and die in Afrika
01:28
I wanna feel love
01:34
I wanna be remembered
01:37
I wanna go down in history
01:39
And make my mama proud
01:42
The darker the berry
01:44
The sweeter the juice
01:47
Na sitoki nyumbani wacha mila ni mtumwa
01:50
No place I'd rather go
01:55
Oh na na na, oh na na na
01:58
No place I'd rather go
yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
02:00
Live and die in Afrika
02:03
Oh lo lo lo lo lo lo
02:07
Live and die in Afrika
02:09
Oh yeah yeah
02:12
Live and die in Afrika
02:14
Live and die in Afrika
02:18
Live and die in Afrika
02:24
(Applause)
02:28
Bien-Aimé Baraza: Good afternoon,
ladies and gentlemen.
02:32
It's a pleasure and honor
to be here today.
02:35
Onstage is the group called Sauti Sol.
02:37
(Cheering)
02:39
We have a couple of people paid
in the audience to make some noise for us.
02:41
(Laughter)
02:44
The four of us met
in high school, 15 years ago,
02:45
and at the time, we were famous
for singing Boyz II Men covers,
02:49
because they were our biggest inspiration.
02:52
(Laughter)
02:55
And I remember, in a very pervy way,
in my room, I had a Mariah Carey poster
02:56
and a Britney Spears poster, too.
03:00
(Laughter)
03:02
And I can't help but feel
that times have changed.
03:03
Because what used to be
Mariah Carey in my room now,
03:07
in a 15-year-old boy's room,
is Tiwa Savage.
03:11
What used to be 50 Cent in my room then,
03:15
to a 15-year-old boy's room now
03:20
is Sauti Sol.
03:22
(Cheering) (Applause)
03:23
The role of Afrobeats in emancipating
03:26
and getting over the colonial
mindset of the youth
03:30
cannot be ignored.
03:37
Afrobeats has played the strongest
role so far, if you ask me,
03:38
as far as emancipating
the youth is concerned.
03:43
We are now the superstars
of our generation, for our people.
03:47
We are the solution
to their musical problems.
03:52
(Applause)
03:55
And people our age are no longer
looking for entertainment
03:57
from America, from the West.
04:00
We are the entertainment,
04:03
and they're priming us above
any other form of art.
04:05
In 2015, President Obama came to Kenya,
04:10
and we had the pleasure
of being the entertainment
04:14
for the state dinner that happened
at state house, Nairobi.
04:17
And as we were performing,
04:20
he jumped onstage with us,
and together, we did a cultural dance
04:22
to a song that I want to share
with you guys right now.
04:27
And wherever you are,
if you feel the music, dance.
04:31
Ladies and gentleman, "Sura Yako."
04:35
(Cheering)
04:37
(Music)
04:38
Nimekuchagua wewe, nikupende
04:40
Mama, sitaki mwingine
04:45
Aushi usiniache, usinitende
04:48
Mama, usipende mwingine
04:53
Moyo wangu ni mwepesi
04:57
Umenikalia chapati
04:59
Nafanya vituko kama chizi
05:01
Kukupenda sitasizi
05:03
Moyo wangu ni mwepesi
05:05
Umenikalia chapati
05:07
Nafanya vituko kama chizi
05:09
Kukupenda sitasizi
05:11
Sura yako mzuri mama
05:13
Mzuri mama
05:16
Mzuri mama
05:18
Mzuri mama
05:20
Na tabasamu lako maua
05:21
Mzuri mama
05:24
Mzuri mama
05:26
Mzuri mama
05:28
Sura yako mzuri mama
05:29
Mzuri mama
05:32
Mzuri mama
05:34
Mzuri mama
05:36
Mzuri mama
05:40
Mzuri mama
05:42
Piga dansi kidogo
05:45
Piga da ... piga dansi kidogo
05:46
Dansi kidogo
05:49
Piga da ... piga dansi kidogo …
05:50
Dansi kidogo
05:53
Piga da ... piga dansi kidogo …
05:54
Dansi kidogo
05:57
Sura yako mzuri mama
05:59
Mzuri mama
06:02
Mzuri mama
06:04
Mzuri mama
06:06
Na tabasamu lako maua
06:07
Mzuri mama
06:10
Mzuri mama
06:12
Mzuri mama
06:14
Na sura yako mzuri mama
06:15
Mzuri mama
06:18
You're so, so beautiful
06:19
Mzuri mama
06:22
Mzuri mama
06:26
Mzuri mama
06:28
You're so, so
06:29
Mzuri mama
06:34
Mzuri mama
06:36
Mzuri mama
06:38
Mzuri mama
06:42
Mzuri mama
06:44
Mzuri mama
06:46
Mzuri mama
06:50
Mzuri mama
06:52
Mzuri mama
06:54
Mzuri mama
06:58
Mzuri mama
07:00
(Applause)
07:05
Savara Mudigi: Wow.
07:08
Thank you, thank you so much.
07:09
(Applause)
07:11
So, afrobeats, afrobeats.
07:13
Afrobeat is a force,
it's a force in the world right now.
07:16
Just last year, in the last year alone,
07:21
Africa had songs in the Billboard charts.
07:23
"One Dance," written by Wizkid,
performed by Wizkid and Drake.
07:27
"Unforgettable" by French Montana.
07:32
For those who know or don't know,
French Montana is Moroccan.
07:34
Artists who the world
has normally considered as mainstream
07:38
are now realizing
they're late to the party.
07:42
And they are knocking on the door,
07:45
and because we are good people,
we are going to let them in.
07:47
(Laughter)
07:50
(Applause)
07:51
When we look at an artist,
Queen B herself -- in brackets, Beyoncé --
07:53
(Laughter)
07:57
Beyoncé has African
influence in her music.
07:58
A couple of years ago, in 2011,
08:02
through YouTube, she saw
these dancers called Tofo Tofo dancers,
08:04
from Mozambique,
08:08
and she flew them all the way
from Mozambique to Los Angeles
08:09
to teach her and her dancers
08:14
the now signature dance moves
that you see in her song,
08:16
"Run the World (Girls)."
08:19
Yeah. (Laughs)
08:21
So, with social media and a vibrant,
vibrant African diaspora,
08:23
more and more the world
is dancing to our rhythm
08:28
and talking our pidgin.
08:33
Yeah? (Laughs)
08:35
Thanks, Nigeria, we'll use that
for across the board.
08:36
(Laughter)
08:39
Our next song, "Kuliko Jana,"
had a viral video
08:41
that was posted by Snoop Dogg,
Ne-Yo, Talib Kweli.
08:43
And the general feedback of this song,
08:49
especially in the black community
in the United States,
08:52
was that this song gave them
a feeling or a sense
08:55
of spiritual repatriation.
08:59
So, ladies and gentlemen, "Kuliko Jana."
09:01
(Cheering)
09:04
(Vocalizing)
09:05
(Vocalizing ends)
09:26
Bwana ni mwokozi wangu
09:27
Tena ni kiongozi wangu
09:30
Ananipenda leo kuliko jana
09:33
Baraka zake hazikwishi
09:38
Si kama binadamu habadiliki
09:41
Ananipenda leo kuliko jana
09:44
Kuliko jana
09:50
Kuliko jana
09:53
Yesu nipende leo kuliko jana
09:56
Kuliko jana
10:02
Kuliko jana
10:05
Yesu nipende leo kuliko jana
10:08
Wewe ndio nategemea
10:14
Kufa kupona Baba nakutegemea
10:16
Chochote kitanikatsia
10:20
Kuingia mbinguni utaniondolea
10:22
Wewe ndio nategemea
10:26
Kufa kupona Baba nakutegemea
10:28
Chochote kitanikatsia
10:31
Kuingia mbinguni utaniondolea
10:34
Wewe ndio nategemea
10:36
Kufa kupona Baba nakutegemea
10:39
Chochote kitanikatsia
10:43
Kuingia mbinguni utaniondolea
10:45
Wewe ndio nategemea
10:49
Kufa kupona Baba nakutegemea
10:51
Nakutegemea
10:54
Na Bwana ni mwokozi wangu
11:01
Na tena ni kiongozi wangu
11:03
Ananipenda leo kuliko jana
11:06
Baraka zake hazikwishi
11:12
Si kama binadamu habadiliki
11:15
Ananipenda leo kuliko jana
11:18
Kuliko jana
11:24
Kuliko jana
11:27
Yesu nipende leo kuliko jana
11:30
Kuliko jana
11:36
Kuliko jana
11:39
Yesu nipende leo kuliko jana
11:42
Na Bwana ni mwokozi wangu
11:48
Na tena ni mkombozi wangu
11:51
Ananipenda leo kuliko jana
11:54
Amen
11:59
Baraka zake hazikwishi
12:00
Amen
12:02
Si kama binadamu habadiliki
12:03
Amen
12:05
Ananipenda leo kuliko jana
12:06
(Music ends)
12:12
Thank you very much.
12:13
(Cheering)
12:15
(Applause)
12:16

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About the speaker:

Sauti Sol - Afro-pop innovators
Sauti Sol blends warm resonant pop with traditional Kenyan influences. Their mélange of energetic rhythms has promoted the group to become one of Africa’s most celebrated.

Why you should listen

Sauti Sol is an award-winning Afro-pop group from Kenya, crowned Best Group (Africa) at the MTV Africa Music Awards in 2016, along with the 2016 Soundcity MTV Awards and African Muzik Magazine Awards. Comprising Bien-Aime Baraza, Willis Austin Chimano, Polycarp Otieno and Savara Mudigi, the group mixes their soulful voices with vocal harmonies, guitar riffs and drum rhythm. In 2016 Sauti Sol made history by being the first Kenyan artists to run a successful and professional nationwide tour. After the Kenyan completion of Sauti Sol’s Live and Die in Afrika tour, it took onto the world stage with a focus on African countries and a detailed American tour.

Sauti Sol’s discography includes three albums: Mwanzo (2008), Sol Filosofia (2011) and the blockbuster Live and Die in Afrika (2015), as well as a 2012 self-titled collaborative EP with South African avant-garde rapper/producer Spoek Mathambo.

More profile about the speaker
Sauti Sol | Speaker | TED.com