Angélique Kidjo's Remain in Light

Angélique Kidjo's Remain in Light

Bells Atlas

Fri, May 4, 2018

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

$39.50 - $59.50

Angélique Kidjo
Angélique Kidjo
Angélique Kidjo is a GRAMMY Award-winning Beninese singer-songwriter and activist, noted for her diverse musical influences and creative music videos.

Angélique Kidjo grew up in Ouidah, Benin, a country in West Africa that sits snugly between Togo and Nigeria.

She was born into a musical family, her mother is a choreographer and director of a theater group, her brothers are instrumentalists and at the age of six she was singing and dancing in her mother's company and later joined her brothers' group, the Kidjo Brothers Band, where she sang a variety of Benin-style songs.

Growing up in Benin exposed her to a rich variety of music. She was heavily influenced by the traditional folk styles and love songs of the country - epic songs full of allusions to the history of the villages and the rituals and voodoo ceremonies of the older generation
but, perhaps more importantly, she was listening to the new urban African music percolating up from South Africa and the Western songs ranging from James Brown, Aretha Franklin to Jimi Hendrix that she heard on the radio.

The formidable South African vocalist Miriam Makeba was a great influence on the young Kidjo, so much so that Angelique, who was already making a name for herself, recorded an adaptation of a Makeba song for Benin radio. Her first hits followed and she toured the Ivory Coast.
It wasn't until Kidjo made the trip to Europe that her career came alive. It was Cameroonian producer, Ekambi Brilliant, who suggested that Angelique move to Paris to record and the singer left Benin for Europe.

Paris in the eighties was the breeding ground for the new African music and African artists, freed from the constraints of African tradition yet incorporating their roots with western styles were generating revolutionary sounds.
Delicately plucked guitars were mixing with rock drums and lyrics were tackling more worldly issues. Makossa from Cameroon, soukous from Zaire which is now the DRC and mbalax from Senegal was being injected with a new attitude and was taking over the dancefloors. Kidjo was in her element.

When she first arrived she sang and recorded with a group called Alafia and then joined the jazz tinged band, Pili Pili. She later recorded two jazz albums with Pili Pili and played with them at the Montreux Festival in 1986.
In the same year she joined forces with bass player and composer Jean Hebrail, and together they worked on their own music.
Through regularly working at Le Baiser Salé in Paris, she also met many African and Antillean musicians and was able to form her own group and release her first solo album, Parakou.
Bells Atlas
Bells Atlas
Bells Atlas emerges from the vibrant cultural and musical backdrop of Oakland, CA. Blending heavy percussion, soulful vocal harmonies, and thoughtful arrangements, this dynamic group has arrived at a sound that is uniquely their own. Primarily made up of 4 core members with a musical chemistry that compliments and surprises, the sonic palette that makes up Bells Atlas is deep and exciting. They capture the spirit of eclectic influences (soul, west African & Brazilian rhythms, noise pop, psychedelia) and draw a wide audience with diverse tastes, setting the stage from a world their own. Their musical intuitions are a place to discover and explore cinematic sonic landscapes and relentless movement. You can find their s/t album and Hyperlust EP on Bandcamp and iTunes. Look out for more music to come!

"The California band sound alluringly exotic... they're the complete mystical package." -NME Magazine

"Eminently chill and sexy in equal measure but with out of this world complexity and musical sophistication".... "This is the kind of record that kickstarts movements"- Afropunk

"It's pretty easy to get lost in the group... lush harmonies fill your ears... their groove is anything but ordinary." -okayplayer

"Bells Atlas represents all that is great about the bustling East Bay indie scene right now... [their] sound is an authentic slice of the dynamic culture and budding musical landscape of the area." - SF Chronicle's article "Bells Atlas - Spirit Guide to the Local Scene"

"... no two-bit adjectives can contain their infectious sound that draws influences from all corners and unexpected places the world over that could only spring in the natural light and mystic foggy air that the Bay Area provides."- Impose Magazine

"Here arrives a band on the scene with music in tow that is intelligent, diverse, and inspired. You can only parse out some influences—soul, R&B, samba, and the polyrhythms of West African music—but no one characteristic can define the sound in a way that does it justice. The only certainty is that, after listening to East Bay–based Bells Atlas, your ears will thank you for the experience." - Asterisk Magazine
Venue Information:
The UC Theatre Taube Family Music Hall
2036 University Avenue
near Downtown Berkeley BART
Berkeley, CA, 94704
http://www.theuctheatre.org/