By BBC World Service International Publicity
Published April 4, 2012
BBC World Service launches Africa Beats, a series of multimedia programmes showcasing Africa’s new musical talent on Friday, April 6, 2012. Each edition of the eight-part weekly series, available on radio, TV and online, will introduce to the BBC’s global audiences an up-and-coming singer-songwriter from Africa.
Each of the four-minute editions of Africa Beats will show the artists performing a favourite song, and include an interview with them. The series will be broadcast as part of the BBC Africa morning radio output on BBC World Service, on BBC World News TV, and will be available for viewing via bbcafrica.com and the BBC’s entertainment and arts pages.
The inaugural edition of Africa Beats features Uganda’s Sarah Tshila who who is reported to have given up a promising career in computer science in the USA to dedicate herself to music. While she was not encouraged to learn music as a child, she later became determined to pursue her passion and to reconnect with her culture. She believes music is powerful and can be a force for change in her native country.
Tshila sings in English, Kiswahili, Luganda and her mother tongue, Lugisu. She describes her music ‘a combination of traditional instruments, rhythms and melodies with modern hip-hop and spoken-word poetry’ as afro-fusion.
Commenting on her appearance on Africa Beats, Tshila says, “I can’t wait for the world to find out about how I have striven to blend my influences of African traditional music with western music.”
Subsequent editions of Africa Beats will feature Kenya-based Kidum (Burundi), Ahmed Soultan (Morocco), Christine Kamau (Kenya), Carmen Souza (Cape Verde), Carole Atemi Oyungu (Kenya), Vieux Farke Toure (Mali), and Eric Wainaina (Kenya).