Taylor Swift Embraces Scottish Roots and Describes Scotland as a “Really Special Place” Ahead of Edinburgh Gigs

In a surprising revelation, global superstar Taylor Swift has expressed her love for Scotland, describing it as a “really special place.” The Grammy-winning artist, who is set to perform three highly anticipated gigs at Edinburgh’s Murrayfield Stadium next year as part of her Eras Tour, recently opened up about her Scottish heritage and her plans to explore the country after the tour concludes.

During her 2015 concert at the Glasgow Hydro, Swift, 33, delighted her Scottish fans by disclosing her familial connections to the region. It was then discovered that she had ancestral links to none other than William the Lion, adding an extra layer of historical significance to her Scottish lineage.

Speaking about her roots, Swift shared, “Scotland is a really special place for me – last time I was there, the crowd was amazing, and I felt like we really connected.” The talented singer-songwriter went on to reveal that her father, Scott, 71, takes immense pride in their Scottish heritage and informed her that a significant portion of their family history can be traced back to Scotland. Naturally, Swift expressed her excitement and gratitude for the opportunity to perform in the country that holds such personal significance for her.

Swift’s affinity for Scotland has been evident throughout her career. During her 2015 Glasgow gig, she proudly showcased her tartan heart, informing the crowd that her father had sent her an email before the show, urging her to let everyone know about their Scottish roots.

As anticipation builds for her upcoming performances in Edinburgh, fans can expect Swift to bring her signature energy and passion to the stage, further solidifying her connection with the Scottish audience. With her deep appreciation for the country’s rich history and her own ancestral ties, it is certain to be a memorable experience for both the artist and her fans.

Beyond her professional commitments, Swift intends to take some time off after the tour to immerse herself in the beauty and culture of Scotland. It seems that the country has truly captured her heart, and she is eager to explore the land of her ancestors.

As Taylor Swift prepares to grace the stage in Edinburgh, her love for Scotland serves as a testament to the enduring bond between artists and their roots. Her heartfelt connection with the country and its people promises to make her performances all the more remarkable, leaving her Scottish fans eagerly awaiting her arrival on the grand stage of Murrayfield Stadium.

Source: Daily Record

South African Amapiano Sensation Tyla Makes Billboard Hot 100 Debut with “Water”

In an extraordinary achievement for the South African music scene, 21-year-old Tyla, the rising star of the Amapiano genre, has made an impressive entry into the prestigious Billboard Hot 100 chart with her viral hit “Water.” The Billboard Hot 100 is the renowned US music chart that ranks the most popular tracks each week based on listener engagement.

Billboard magazine announced on its website that Tyla, the talented singer-songwriter, has made her first appearance on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with her breakthrough single “Water,” securing the 67th spot. This remarkable feat has garnered international recognition for the young South African artist.

Tyla Laura Seethal, a multi-talented artist known for her singing, dancing, and captivating performances, has quickly emerged as one of the most promising talents in Africa’s music industry. Signed to Epic Records (Sony), she has already achieved significant milestones in her career, including opening for renowned American R&B singer Chris Brown during his European tour this year.

Her single “Water,” released in July, showcases the distinctive Amapiano style that originated in South African townships before gaining global popularity. The track gained rapid traction, especially on TikTok, where a video of Tyla’s dance moves garnered over 70 million views. The official music video, infused with R&B elements, has already amassed over eleven million views on YouTube. Furthermore, “Water” has surpassed the monthly listening figures of the global hit “Jerusalema” by South Africa’s Master KG on Spotify.

Expressing her excitement on social media platform X (formerly Twitter), Tyla exclaimed, “I’m a South African born and bred in Johannesburg. It’s crazy.” She urged everyone to continue spreading their unique sound worldwide, considering her Billboard success as a victory for the entire African music scene. Tyla is currently preparing for the release of her debut album, which is highly anticipated by her growing fan base.

Tyla’s breakthrough on the Billboard Hot 100 is a testament to the remarkable talent emanating from South Africa and serves as an inspiration for aspiring artists across the continent. Her infectious music and electrifying performances have captivated audiences, propelling her to new heights of success and solidifying her position as a rising star in the global music landscape.

Davido and Chioma Reportedly Blessed with Twins in Joyful Surprise

In a delightful surprise, reports have emerged that Nigerian superstar singer David Adedeji Adeleke, widely known as Davido, and his wife Chioma Rowland, welcomed twins in the United States on Tuesday, 9th October, 2023.

The news was initially shared by Evangelist Gospel Agochukwu, who excitedly uploaded his conversation with Davido on the official Facebook page of his church on Tuesday morning, 10th October 2023.

While Davido and Chioma have not personally confirmed the news yet, the virtual world has been buzzing with congratulatory messages on various social media platforms. Fans and well-wishers alike have eagerly expressed their joy and excitement for the couple.

The arrival of twins would mark a momentous occasion in Davido and Chioma’s lives, adding double the happiness to their growing family. As one of Nigeria’s most beloved musical talents, Davido has captured the hearts of millions with his infectious music and charismatic personality. Similarly, Chioma has garnered admiration for her grace and support as Davido’s partner.

Although further details about the twins and their names are yet to be disclosed, the news has undoubtedly sparked widespread celebration among fans of the couple and the music industry as a whole.

As the anticipation builds for an official announcement from Davido and Chioma, the online community continues to share their warm wishes and messages of love, eagerly awaiting more information about the newest additions to the family.

The reported arrival of twins for Davido and Chioma is a moment of great joy and blessings, and it reinforces the love and support they receive from their dedicated fan base.

DJ Black Coffee Makes History: Sells Out at Madison Square Garden

DJ Black Coffee delivered an unforgettable night for thousands of fans as he performed at New York’s prestigious Madison Square Garden. The highly anticipated event was completely sold out.

The 47-year-old DJ created history by becoming the first South African DJ and producer to perform at Madison Square Garden on Saturday.

He was supported by the amapiano twin duo, Major League DJz, and made special appearances alongside other notable South African artists including Oskido, Msaki, and Mondli Ngcobo.

Fans took to social media to express their admiration for Black Coffee’s performance and the pride he brought to South Africa. Comments praising his live remix of “Superman” with Bucie flooded platforms like Twitter.

The Instigator on X commended Black Coffee for not only his successful show but also for promoting other artists. The sentiment was echoed by many as they acknowledged his contribution to the South African music industry.

Some fans expressed their regret at missing the event, with one user posting about feeling a fear of missing out (FOMO).

However, the overall response was one of celebration and support for the DJ’s achievements.

While unable to attend the performance, Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Zizi Kodwa conveyed his apologies to Black Coffee for missing his groundbreaking show.

Kodwa expressed his admiration for the DJ’s journey and commended him for representing South Africa on a global scale. He acknowledged Black Coffee’s rise from the streets of Umlazi and Mthatha to renowned music arenas worldwide, emphasizing his inspirational impact on both young and old.

In April of this year, Black Coffee was honoured by the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture alongside other South African Grammy award winners for their exceptional achievements on the global stage.

Burna Boy’s South Africa Show Cancelled Amid Fraud Allegations Against Organiser

Burna Boy’s highly anticipated live show in South Africa has been cancelled following allegations of fraud against one of the event’s organisers. The Nigerian artist was scheduled to perform at Johannesburg’s FNB Stadium, but the concert was called off in the days leading up to the event amidst rumours of poor ticket sales.

Promoter Ternary Media Group, responsible for organizing the show, revealed that the concert was postponed due to pending legal proceedings related to a fraud claim. CEO Sedote Nwachukwu, accused of embezzling R10 million (£435,000) from the company, has been relieved of his duties until further notice.

Nwachukwu denied the allegations, claiming that his business partner, Gregory Wings, had taken a significant portion of the tickets sold by Ticketpro without his consent. He alleged that Wings sold and distributed the tickets at nightclubs and campuses. Nwachukwu further stated that he hadn’t seen Wings since arriving in South Africa over a week ago.

Wings lodged a complaint with the police, asserting that he discovered over R8 million had been transferred to Nwachukwu’s US bank account without his consent, based on an account verification document provided by Ticketpro.

The Gauteng provincial police have opened a fraud case and are currently investigating the matter.

Burna Boy’s management team expressed regret over the cancellation, citing the promoters’ failure to fulfill their contractual, production, financial, and technical obligations. They noted that production vendors had not been paid, making it impossible to meet the required production standards for the venue size.

Although organisers have stated that the show will be rescheduled for December 16, representatives from FNB Stadium have stated that a contract has not yet been signed.

Burna Boy, who made history as the first African artist to headline a UK stadium with a sold-out concert at London Stadium, released his seventh studio album, ‘I Told Them…’, last month.

Fans who purchased tickets for the cancelled show are advised to seek refunds from the respective ticketing companies. Burna Boy’s team expressed their apologies and conveyed their anticipation of seeing fans again soon.

As the investigation into the fraud allegations continues, the impact on Burna Boy’s future performances and the resolution of the contractual issues remains to be seen.

Kenya’s Film Industry Gets Boost as Cabinet Secretary Signs Hollywood Deal

Kenya’s film industry is poised for significant development as Youth, Arts, and Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba has inked a groundbreaking agreement with Invention Studios CEO Nicky Weinstock. The deal, signed in Los Angeles, aims to harness the expertise of Hollywood filmmakers to drive Kenya’s film industry forward under the ambitious Talanta Hela agenda.

Just a day after a historic partnership with the NBA in New York to foster basketball growth, Namwamba announced the new agreement on his X account, expressing his delight in securing this transformative collaboration. The partnership with Invention Studios CEO Nicky Weinstock holds the promise of propelling Kenya’s film industry to new heights.

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between Kenya and the NBA on Friday seeks to deliver basketball development programs in the country. This comprehensive initiative includes the training of teachers as certified basketball coaches and the identification of grassroots-level talent through scout programs. Additionally, the Sports ministry and the NBA plan to establish basketball courts in schools, communities, and neighborhoods, as well as an arena to host competitions.

Moreover, the NBA’s commitment to the growth of basketball in Kenya goes beyond the on-ground efforts. In November 2023, the NBA is set to open an office in Nairobi, solidifying its presence and dedication to the development of the sport within the country.

With the signing of the agreement with Invention Studios, the Kenyan film industry is set to benefit from the expertise and experience of Hollywood filmmakers. This collaboration holds the potential to enhance the quality of Kenyan films, expand the reach of local productions, and open up opportunities for international collaborations.

The Talanta Hela agenda, which is at the core of this partnership, aims to harness the abundant talent in Kenya’s arts and entertainment industry, offering a platform for aspiring filmmakers to showcase their creativity and contribute to the growth of the sector.

As Kenya’s film industry enters a new era of growth and collaboration, the agreement between the Youth, Arts, and Sports Ministry and Invention Studios CEO Nicky Weinstock marks a significant milestone in the country’s cultural landscape. The combined efforts of Hollywood filmmakers and local talents will undoubtedly pave the way for the emergence of captivating storytelling, innovative filmmaking techniques, and an industry that showcases the rich diversity and narratives of Kenya on the global stage.

Somali Cultural Icon Axmed Naaji Sacad Cali Naasir Passes Away, Leaving Behind a Musical Legacy

Renowned Somali singer, composer, poet, and cultural icon Axmed Naaji Sacad Cali Naasir has passed away at the age of 84 in London, leaving behind a legacy that spans over six decades. Naasir, celebrated for his contributions to Somali culture, has left an indelible mark on the country’s music scene, as highlighted by Mohamed Haji Ingiriis in an article for The Conversation Africa.

Born in 1939 in Mogadishu during the era of Italian colonialism, Naasir’s talent for singing flourished during his education in government schools, where he learned Arabic and Italian songs and used his voice to praise the newly-designed Somali flag. He became a member of the Somali Youth League and captivated audiences at their gatherings with his melodious performances.

Naasir’s career took off in 1961 when he became a radio show host, gaining popularity both on the airwaves and on the streets of Mogadishu. He played a crucial role in bridging the cultural divide between northern and southern Somalia, enriching Somali music with his unique style. Despite the changing political landscape following the military coup in 1969, Naasir adapted and continued to thrive during the golden era of the military regime in the early 1970s, earning domestic and international acclaim for his musical prowess. However, as Somalia descended into civil war in the 1980s, Naasir, unwilling to align with any faction, refrained from composing songs during the conflict. He sought refuge in Yemen, where he used his music to advocate for peace and a unified Somalia.

Even in exile, Naasir remained committed to his mission of rebuilding Somalia from the ruins of war. He focused on creating nationalistic and patriotic songs, using his music as a tool for healing and reconciliation. Naasir embarked on world tours, promoting peace and actively contributing to efforts aimed at bringing stability to Somalia.

Throughout his illustrious career, Axmed Naaji Sacad Cali Naasir became an emblematic figure in Somali culture, leaving an enduring legacy as a musician and cultural ambassador. His contributions to Somali music and his tireless efforts for peace will continue to inspire generations to come.

Renowned Nigerian Author Wole Soyinka Launches Latest Novel in France

Renowned Nigerian author Wole Soyinka’s latest novel, “Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth,” has been published in French, offering readers a captivating exploration of an imaginary version of Nigeria. In an interview with RFI, Soyinka shared the inspiration behind the book, driven by his anger, frustration, and puzzlement over the country’s pervasive corruption and global dysfunction.

The title of the novel was inspired by a Gallup poll that ranked Nigeria among the happiest nations in the world. Curious about the reasons behind this ranking, Soyinka embarked on a journey to unravel the truth. The story follows Papa Davina, a self-proclaimed guru who gains an unexpected following after returning from the United States. Soyinka delves into the allure and theatrics surrounding charismatic figures like Papa Davina, irrespective of their religious background.

Amidst this backdrop, two friends, Dr. Menka, a doctor, and Duyole Pitan-Payne, an engineer and Yoruba royal, navigate a morally collapsing society on the brink of social upheaval. Through their adventures and dialogues, Soyinka sheds light on the human side of a society grappling with moral decay.

The novel has garnered praise from the French press for its satirical elements, skillfully blending humor and horror to expose political corruption. Described by Nigerian-British poet and novelist Ben Okri as a shocking reflection of political corruption in a country reminiscent of Soyinka’s homeland, the book offers a searing critique of society.

Born in 1934, Soyinka was the first African writer to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1986. Throughout his career, he has fearlessly used his writing to address issues of dictatorship, governance, and corruption in Nigeria and beyond. Soyinka’s earlier works, primarily plays such as “The Invention,” “The Swamp Dwellers,” and “The Lion and the Jewel,” showcased his talent for satirizing social ills.

After gaining international recognition for his plays, Soyinka moved to London and worked as a play reader for the Royal Court Theatre. He later returned to Nigeria, where he continued to produce essays, poetry, memoirs, operas, short stories, and two novels: “The Interpreters” and “Season of Anomy.”

Soyinka’s unwavering activism against corruption and manipulation of the masses led him to even attempt launching a party of “progressives” in the late 2000s. Throughout his career, he has engaged in intellectual exchanges with African writers, artists, and thinkers through his involvement with the Présence Africaine review.

In his latest novel, Soyinka incorporates French words and expressions that reflect the multicultural reality of cities like Lagos, where many French-speaking West Africans live and work. This fusion of languages and cultures adds depth and authenticity to the narrative, making it a compelling read for audiences both within and beyond Nigeria.

The French edition of “Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth” offers readers a thought-provoking exploration of Nigeria’s societal challenges, as seen through the discerning lens of one of Africa’s most celebrated literary figures.


Source: RFI

Rema and Selena Take Home MTV Video Music Award for Best Afrobeats

The 2023 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) proved to be a memorable night for Rema and Selena Gomez as they emerged victorious, clinching the prestigious award for Best Afrobeats for their chart-topping collaboration, “Calm Down.”

The duo’s remarkable achievement in a highly competitive category was met with elation and gratitude as Rema and Selena took the stage to accept their well-deserved accolade. Both artists expressed heartfelt appreciation to everyone who had played a part in bringing their vision to life.

While Rema and Selena celebrated their triumph, one person who couldn’t contain her excitement was Selena’s close friend, Taylor Swift. Standing and cheering them on, Swift mouthed “I love you” to Selena, showcasing the camaraderie and unwavering support within the music industry.

Reflecting on the creation of “Calm Down” prior to their VMA win, Rema shared the inspiration behind the song. He revealed that it chronicles the events that led him to discover love during that particular period. It all began at a party where Rema noticed a girl who stood out from the crowd, prompting him to take a chance and approach her. Despite their initial connection through conversation and dancing, their potential romance was impeded by the girl’s friends, dampening the atmosphere. However, undeterred by the setback, Rema and the girl managed to stay in touch and foster a genuine connection.

The Best Afrobeats win at the VMAs serves as a testament to the immense musical talents of Rema and Selena Gomez, as well as the global impact of Afrobeats as a genre. Their collaboration embodies the fusion of vibrant rhythms and infectious melodies that have captivated audiences worldwide.

The recognition bestowed upon Rema and Selena at the VMAs marks a significant milestone in their careers, highlighting their exceptional contributions to the music industry. This triumph not only celebrates their individual artistry but also showcases the power of collaboration and the ability to transcend cultural boundaries through music.

As Rema and Selena bask in the glory of their VMA victory, fans eagerly anticipate the future works of these extraordinary artists. Their successful collaboration on “Calm Down” serves as a testament to their artistic prowess and raises anticipation for what they will bring to the music landscape in the coming years.

The Best Afrobeats win at the VMAs solidifies Rema and Selena Gomez as artists who continue to push boundaries, inspire audiences, and leave an indelible mark on the music industry.

Rema’s ‘Calm Down’ Makes History on Streaming Platform

Nigerian artist Rema has achieved a remarkable milestone with his hit single ‘Calm Down’ featuring Selena Gomez, reaching one billion streams on Spotify. This makes him the first African lead artist to have a song reach 1 billion Spotify streams, joining the prestigious Billions Club of the platform.

Rema, whose real name is Divine Ikubor, is a 22-year-old Nigerian singer, rapper, and songwriter. He gained prominence in 2019 with his self-titled debut EP, which featured the hit single ‘Dumebi.’ Since then, he has released several other successful songs, including ‘Iron Man,’ ‘Lady,’ and ‘Bounce.’

‘Calm Down’ was released in 2022 and quickly became a fan favorite, with its catchy beat and infectious lyrics. The song’s success on Spotify is a testament to Rema’s talent and the growing popularity of Afrobeats music around the world.

Don Jazzy, the founder of Mavin Records, the label that signed Rema, congratulated the artist on his achievement. He said, “This is a huge milestone for Rema and for African music as a whole. It shows that our music is resonating with audiences around the world, and I’m proud to be a part of this movement.”

Rema’s success on Spotify is just the latest in a string of achievements for Afrobeats music in 2023. Earlier this year, Nigerian artists Burna Boy and Wizkid won Grammy Awards, and several other Afrobeats artists have been making waves on the international music scene.

As Afrobeats continues to gain popularity, it’s clear that Rema and other African artists are poised for even greater success in the years to come.