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Angelique Kidjo: Once in a Lifetime

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From the album Remain In Light, an Angelique Kidjo’s reinvention of the Talking Heads iconic album. Produced by Jeff Bhasker, the film was created/directed by 25 year old Antoine Paley, a student at Luc Besson’s Cité Du Cinema film school.

“In the 1970s, under the dictatorship in my home country of Benin, it was really difficult to find music to listen to from the rest of the world.” — Angelique Kidjo

When I went into exile in Paris in 1983, I discovered so much new music, and among them was the song “Once In A Lifetime”. Initially, it felt strange to me. People said it was Rock and Roll, but it felt African somehow. When I performed in New York in 1992 at SOB’s, David Byrne was the first American artist to come see my show. Many years later, I discovered that Brian Eno and The Talking Heads had been influenced by Fela Kuti and studied John Miller Chernoff’s book African Rhythm and African Sensibility about the power of African music.

“Once In A Lifetime” was released at the start of the Reagan presidency, and you feel the anguish and anger in its lyrics. I feel the same tension in today’s political climate. Bringing “Once In A Lifetime” back to the African continent, with the help of superstar producer Jeff Bhasker, Black Panther’s percussionist Magatte Sow and guitarist Dominic James, feels so right today.

World Music Report is a project dedicated to the advancement of World Music and its creators. Since 2000 WMR has been spreading the word about this wonderful music known under the umbrella term: WORLD MUSIC.

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