Local artists to represent SA on Idris Elba's Africa Day gig

Pan-African virtual concert to focus on shinning spotlight on new talent

Elaine
Elaine
Image: Supplied

Blaq Diamond, Elaine and Focalistic will represent Mzansi at Idris Elba-hosted Africa Day concert taking place on Tuesday.

Running for a second year, the concert is a collaboration between the British actor, MTV Base and YouTube.

The Pan-African virtual concert will this year focus on shinning the spotlight on the next wave of new talent from the continent on a global stage.

“It’s the best time to be alive considering that African music has been given a chance globally to be heard,” says Ndumiso Mdletshe, one-part of KwaZulu-Natal rap duo Blaq Diamond. “It’s a blessing more than anything. For us it’s about having a good time and bringing good vibes.”

Elaine is set to perform live for the first time her new single Right Now that dropped last week. “Africa remains the biggest export of talent and finally the world is paying attention,” Elaine shares. “I’m very excited to be part of the story and journey. It’s a big moment for all of us.”

Other African acts featured in the concert set to stream on YouTube and air on MTV Base include Nigeria’s Bella Shmurda, Teni and Omah Lay.

Ghana will be represented by Gyakie with Zuchu doing the same for Tanzania and Suspect 95 for Ivory Coast. Kenyan gospel musician Bahati will also be featured on the line-up.

“My performance is going to have a lot of energy, but at the same time it’s art – in black and white,” Focalistic teases. You will clearly see how ase trap tse ke pina tsa ko kasi (This is not trap music, it’s songs we listen to in the township) can be art the same way as Burna Boy and Drake. That’s the mission and that’s why I keep saying we are going to take a Grammy. This is a step in the right direction.”

The inaugural Africa Day Benefit Concert At Home took place last year, bringing African and global superstars together to raise funds for families affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Last year the line-up included Angelique Kidjo, Burna Boy, Sauti Sol, AKA, Yemi Alade, Sho Madjozi, M.anifest, Tiwa Savage and Stonebwoy.

“I’m committed to shining a light on African culture, heritage and the arts,” says Elba. “During a year when globally we have all had to reflect deeply on our purpose, I’ve taken inspiration from the continent with its diversity of voices, creativity and innovation. Here’s to Africa’s Next Global Wave.”

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