Global Fusion Playlist: Afro-Europe’s Global Soul -Ones To Watch : Y’akoto, Joy Denalane & Emeli Sandé,

As we go thru Europe to find the soul of music being brought by the Daughters of Yaa sprinkled all over the world in warrior queen goodness, our passport in global fusion leads us to make a stop in Germany  and London Via African foundations to find no other than Y’akoto, Joy Denalane and Emeli Sandé. Y’akoto is the half German, half Ghanaian songstress born in Hamburg and raised in Tema.

Y’akoto‘s voice is heaven sent from Jazz, Soul, R&B, Afrofolk, Afro-pop and all genres that the industry stuck on labels can put her sound with ; she flows effortlessly in bringing the universal spirit of soul filled music that immediately captivates your mind while occupying your body in the type of feel good music that as Bob Marley says “once it hits you , you feel no pain”. Y’akoto is amongst the new wave of Global African soul singers like Sena, Wunmi, AnbuleyAsa,Nneka, Tawiah and a great  crew of true artists around the world who are this generation’s throwback to eras gone by when music was live and consumed by global collaborations in the universality of versatility  that is so intoxicatingly soulful regardless of language or borders. Y’akoto is working with her fellow German superstar- Producer/Artist Max Herre- who is married to another global fusion in German Chocolate, the German/South Africa –Joy Denalane. These women speak the global language of music between borders bringing separated worlds together in their global fusion while naturally and respectably celebrating all the sums of its parts.

She has been compared to some of the biggest names of her craft, such as Erykah Badu, Amy Winehouse, Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, and has proved in many concerts that she’s as convincing on stage as in the studio. Both her EP Tamba and the Single “Diamonds” have set the bar high and raised expectations for her debut album….Now, the day has arrived: Babyblues, the first longplayer of 23 year old singer Jennifer Yaa Akoto Kieck a.k.a. Y’akoto from Hamburg is here! In collaboration with Mocky, Haze and production team Kahedi (Max Herre, Samon Kawamura und Roberto Di Gioia), the cosmopolitan with roots in Ghana and residence in Hamburg, Germany recorded 14 songs – songs that excel with their simplicity and focus as well as through Y’akoto’s voice which, despite her youth, has an amazing maturity and depth.” Read More

Y’akoto’s music feels like a piece of chocolate, which slowly melts on your tongue. Born in Hamburg with a Ghanian descent Y’akoto creates the sweetest soul music, wich just makes you chill out and feel deep relaxation….Her musical style reminds you of Nneka or the brilliant Erykah Badu, both of whome performed live with Y’akoto already. Her colleagues as well have a high opinion of her. Max Herre characterizes her as “a talent, who you meet up with once in a decade, if at all.” At the end of march her debut album “Babyblues” will be on sale. The first single is entitled “Diamonds” and impresses with a smooth groove, understated african rhythms and the intense soulful voice of Y’akoto.”Read More

Joy Denalane represents the best of German Chocolate in her musical flavoring. Berlin’s own German-South African songstress, Joy Denalane, is so underestimated- her voice is sick-more heaven than hell-silky smooth with the grit like a throwback to classics like Aretha, Gladys & Chaka -one day she will also have strictly 1st name recognition because her voice is PURE FIRE! I was introduced to this phenomenal women on her Heaven or Hell track with Raekwon a few years ago, but with my exploration of her body of work, I fell in love with a future legendary voice , sound and soul. Her collaborations with her husband- famed German artist and producer Max Herre has brought so much beautiful music to the world, creating a musical power couple that the world needs to be as familiar with as they are with Beyonce and Jay Z.

With collaborations with artists like her husband Max on 1st Liebe AKA First Love, it brought me memories of that perfect love found by hip-hop and soul between Mary J. Blige and Method Man when they gave our generation our own love anthem in a classic throwback.  I am completely in love with Joy and Max as a couple because the music they make together oozes with the pure love and the sexiness of two beautiful souls whose fire burns through their lovemaking, with the final undeniable product being two beautiful baby boys who are just as deliciously pleasant to the eyes as their music is pleasant to the ear. From English to German, whether collaborating with Lupe Fiasco, Bilal or their counterparts in Germany, the soul of Joy’s voice never ceases to bring pure sweetness of  sounds to any  track. In 20008 Joy and Max founded their own recording imprint, Nesola Records.  Her first album Mamani which translates to Mother was produced by her husband Max and dedicated to her mother, then came her second album and first English language album entitled Born and Raised, which was recorded in Philadelphia along with her newly released third album Maureen . Joy’s recording in Philadelphia has brought back the classic Philly soul sound reminiscent of the greats of the past with a new global fusion flavor. I am proudly proclaiming that this is one of my favorite artists of the future. Take a listen and indulge in the pure goodness of the JOY of good music! Just in case you are still wondering who Joy is -she is your favorite artists favorite artist -LOL-get to know Joy!

I was the daughter
Of a little known king
When they came
And put me in a castle
My eyes had never seen
They spoke in tongues
I’ve never heard
They took me to the sea
At the edge of the earth
I journied tempest waters
Reached these distant shores
My clothes are tattered
And my soul is worn
I bore a daughter
In captivity
They came late one night
To take her away from me
I cried and I cried
Oh, Lord have mercy on me
Can’t they see
That little girl
Is royalty

I held my ground
And took my stand
Can’t help
Feeling sometimes
That I’m a stranger
In this land
In this land of mine

My mother used
To cook and clean
For the rich folks
On the hill
Made sure
I got an education
And could hardly
Pay the bills
I studied
Schools of thought
And philosophies of man
Started questioning
The contradictions
In this land
I left the classroom
Joined the rallies
In the street
Marching hand in hand
In the Mississippi heat
I spent so many years
Of my life on the move
That confrontation
Was the only thing i knew
Talking unity and how
We gone push on through
Can’t even say no more
If anything’s improved


I’m a family man
With a wife
And two kids to feed
I dedicated my life
To seeing we succeed
The way I sought to make it
I learned to follow the rules
So we can make sure
Our children visit
The finest schools
Grandmas on the weekends
Going on about the good old days
When decent black folks
Be trying to make a change
My parents used to tell me
To live my life steadfast
But some may ask me
What it is that I have



There’s so many things to say right now
I got so much on my mind
Look at what is going down
How much higher can we climb
The system that we’re living in
Depends on poverty and greed
But people don’t need charity
It’s justice that we need

There’s disrepair
It’s surrounding you
And it’s worse than it’s ever been
We’ll overcome
Overcome the things they do
We’re halfway there
Cause we know the truth
But living is another thing
We’ll overcome
Overcome the things they do
Lift your voice and sing

A change is coming our way
Step by step and day by day
We’ll live by all that we say
Step by step now come what may

There’s war all around the world
In the name of democracy
Can’t tell the rouge from the just
When they bring hypocrisy
I see my sisters on the move
Making sure we all contend
Must’ve lost something on the way
We reduced ourselves again



Before we go forth
We gotta take ’em back, back
So we can know what we did
Cause if we never know what happened in de past
Then we can never know, that’s what it is
If we don’t do it for us
We gotta do it for our kids, kids
So they don’t gotta relive
See, there’s so much happening, it ain’t gonna get fix
With singing and rapping and we gotta take action
And turn that preach into practising
Cause what happen back then, will be right back again
But each one teach one, cause we only as fast
As the last one straggling, so help ’em out

Step by step day by day
Said it won’t be long, it won’t be long
Step by step come what may
I feel it coming on strong
Step by step day by day
We gonna overcome
Step by step come what may
As long as we are one

Can’t tell the rogue from the just

What more can you want than a soulful brainiac who can engage you in intellectual conversation, give you some medical advice and blow out your eardrums with her superb vocal range. If this type of woman sounds interesting to you then allow me to introduce you to Adele Emeli Sandé known by her stage name Emeli Sandé because the United Kingdom can not have two Adele’s at the same time. Emeli has more than carved out her own path as a singer/songwriter who has penned songs for artists such as Alesha Dixon, Chipmunk, Leona Lewis, Cheryl Cole, and Tinie Tempah just to name a few. Emeli was born in Scotland to a Zambian father and an English mother. She studied medicine at University of Glasgow, but decided her calling to heal would have to come through her music instead of formalized medicine. At the tender age of 24 Emeli is a force to be reckoned with as a writer who writes all her own material along with having a great vocal range that will surely see her having a career in longevity doing what she does best- bless the world with her gift of great soul music. Simon Cowell has called Emeli his favorite songwriter of the moment  and 2012 saw Emeli crossing over the pond to bless USA audiences with our newest global fusion import via London with a foundations of roots equally firm in Zambia, England and Scotland. At the top of 2012 she was engaged to her long time boyfriend who is a scientist, juxtaposing an amazing home of high level intellect with high level music to match – My kind of home!

Emeli Sande is the future superstar you probably already love. The incredible lungs behind one of this year’s biggest songs, Heaven, Emeli has already had a number one, after appearing on Professor Green’s Read All About It, and could be Christmas One with her new single Daddy. 2012 is the year Emeli steps into spotlight and goes stellar – after already winning a Brit’s Critic’s Choice Award – with the release of her debut album Our Version of Events, out February 5. Emeli is also taking her beautiful street soul on tour – currently supporting Coldplay in Europe, then headlinling her own UK tour dates in April.” READ MORE

Even though this forthcoming debut album from Scottish-born pop singer Emeli Sandé doesn’t hit the US ‘til June 5, I’ve had it since Feb n’ just couldn’t wait to give the curious a peep into her stellar LP! Be on the look out for her US (live!) invasion for dates in April in NYC n’ LA, then later in her summer tour opening for Coldplay across North America. Introducing us to her soulful, royal vocals is the album opener n’ single, “Heaven” (also remixed by Alpines which I’ve uploaded for your listening pleasure) that’s graced w/the right orchestral n’ choir accompaniment to catapult her into such a majestic pop status. Seeing her live also confirms how incredible her talent is. A natural on stage n’ already grabbing the Critics Choice Award at the Brit Awards for 2012, this is the next UK diva following in the prestigious footsteps of Adele n’ Florence + the Machine who both won these accolades in the past. As the LP continues w/other songs such as “Mountains”, “Clown” and her other single “Daddy” feat. Naughty Boy, you’re roped into her sensational songwriting, almost always pushing you into a state of deep pondering along the lines of love’s peaks, desperations n’ complexities, all bringing out emotions that physically instigate a tear or 2 or 3… Let’s say, you’ll be crying easily if you’re going through a normal life, so don’t be ashamed. What’s Sade to the 1980s, might as well be Emeli Sandé to the 2010s. Believe me, her pop appeal is stamped through “Maybe” – one of my ultimates – or “Suitcase” and “Breaking The Law” where she exposes just her vocals to these acoustic gems. Soon, I have no doubt you’ll be singing along, longing for love, elongating heartbreak n’ lounging to these timeless Emeli Sandé songs as your soundtrack to hopefully a long-lasting (yes n’ sometimes painful) life…” READ MORE