Watch Nasty C, Prince Kaybee & Msaki, Alpha P & more in a special Tiny Desk concert

In support of Def Jam Africa's 'Rhythms of Zamunda'

From ‘Black Panther’ to ‘Judas & the Black Messiah’, the last few years have seen a resurgence in the popularity of film soundtracks. So, it follows that the newly released sequel of the 1989 comedy classic, ‘Coming to America’, is accompanied by two soundtracks, both of which feature heavy involvement from African artists scattered across the continent. On the official “Coming 2 America” soundtrack, comprising songs used in the film, Davido, Burna Boy, Tiwa Savage and Tekno make appearances amongst an all-star cast that includes Megan Thee Stallion, John Legend, Nile Rodgers, and more.

Curated by Def Jam Africa, ‘Rhythms from Zamunda’ is the second accompanying soundtrack, billed as a collection of songs inspired by the new film. Featuring songs by Nasty C, Tiwa Savage, Prince Kaybee, Larry Gaaga, and more, the project traverses across the continent to accommodate a diverse range of sounds aimed at displaying the heterogeneity of music in Africa. Coming at a time when soundtracks are back in style, along with its gradual embrace on the continent (in Nigeria, at least), ‘Rhythms of Zamunda’ is a potentially significant project, and it’s been treated as such by the contributors and curators.

In support of the “inspired by” soundtrack, a multi-cast Tiny Desk concert has just been released, featuring a handful of artists performing their contributed songs. In trademark Tiny Desk fashion, all performances shot at different locations, are tied together by the platform’s preference for intimate, acoustic live settings. The concert opens with a rendition of the project’s lead single, “Black & White” by Nasty and Ari Lennox, with both artists filming from different locations but still displaying phenomenal chemistry, similar to their performance on The Ellen Show a few weeks back.

The South African rap superstar then introduces Cameroonian singer Locko, who delivers a stripped-down version of his catchy bop, “Magnet”. SA R&B sensation Ricky Tyler takes over, flaunting his velvety vocals while singing the fluttery melodies of “Everything”, a standout from his impressive debut album, ‘Small World’. Nigerian singer/rapper, Alpha P follows right after, upping the tempo with his boisterous, TMXO-produced cut, “Jiggy Bop”, exuding megawatts of energy alongside an electric band and a lively hypeman. Superstar SA House DJ/producer Prince Kaybee steps up to the plate in the same setting as Nasty C and Ricky Tyler, and he’s joined by Msaki as the duo perform their iconic song, “Fetch Your Life”.

The multi-artist concert is rounded off by Togolese premier duo Toofan, as they perform their Fally Ipupa-assisted smash, “Ye Mama”, performing with the manic energy they’ve come to be associated with on stage. With high-quality cinematography and stellar musicianship across every segment of the Tiny Desky concert, the ‘Rhythms of Zamunda’ cast adheres the ethos of its host platform, while doing a great job of making the case for African music’s diversity beyond the stock description of “Afrobeats”.

Watch the Tiny Desk concert here.

Featured Image Credits: YouTube/NPR

Dennis is a staff writer at the NATIVE. Let me know your favourite the Cavemen songs @dennisadepeter