winning artist Amai Kuda et les Bois brings us a song born of seemingly opposite musical extremes, a piece which powerfully reminds us of the deep historical roots of this year’s Black Lives Matter uprising.
The soulful vocals of the 2018 song ‘Train’, a “tantalizing Afro-soul combo of folk, roots, desert blues, and African continental music,” (NOW Magazine) about the experiences of people of color during colonization and slavery, has been set to a driving dance-pop beat provided by the Grammy-winning Philip Larsen, best known for his remixes for stars like Katy Perry, Kylie Minogue, and Moby.
Amai Kuda Et Les Bois, a singer/songwriter, sangoma (traditional healer) and community organizer who believes music has the power to heal and change the world, and is committed to being part of this change, one song at a time including this song “Train”.
“The song itself is an act of resistance,” says Amai Kuda. While it laments the destruction created by colonization, “the train track that carved up the landscape of so many peoples’ lives, it deliberately disrupts the more European sonic motifs and English lyrics with African spiritual invocations. The piece is about bringing disparate and, in some ways, contradictory elements together,” so Larsen’s club music textures and beats work perfectly with Amai Kuda’s lyrics and vocals. Despite never having met (Larsen is based in London while Amai Kuda is in Toronto), the two worked closely online to create this unique track that is both timeless and very much of the current moment.
Amai’s “TRAIN”, A song that speaks to the roots of this year’s racial struggles