Djin Djin

If you follow the Afropop scene even nominally, you’ve probably heard of “Djin Djin,” Angelique Kidjo’s new release. Kidjo is African music’s it girl in the States — her new album is dripping with famous guest vocals — Peter Gabriel, Branford Marsalis, Ziggy Marley, Amadou et Mariam, and Senegalese artist Youssou N’Dour.

I can’t address the content of the vocals, because I don’t speak French or Yoruba, but Kidjo has a smooth, beautiful voice in any language, complementing any musical style and any language; she is talented enough, even at 46, to hold spellbound our youth-and-newness-obsessed country (if it stops to listen). The standout track for me is “Lonlon,” a vocal reinvention of Ravel’s “Bolero”; other songs are fun or danceable or introspective but always aesthetically pleasing. Djin Djin is worth every listening minute, so don’t let it sit in the World Music bin with all the other gems that get ignored in favor of most of the worthless crud that gets on the charts just because it’s from the US.

Her site is very flash-intensive and even my quick connection had trouble loading it, so stick with the Myspace if you’re low-bandwidth.

Angelique Kidjo – Site | Myspace | Label (Razor & Tie)

[ed. note — tracks removed. Contact me for a copy.]

Angelique Kidjo – Ae Ae

Angelique Kidjo – Sedjedo (ft. Ziggy Marley)

Download “Papa” from AOL Spinner



  1. Mark M.’s avatar

    Because I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Kidjo’s native Benin, I have been following her career. She has deservedly earned the ‘it’ title by growing and improving as an artist through the years. West African music has deep root and she has kept those strong roots and sucessfully injected modern influences from both the East and the West

  2. zara’s avatar

    I agree — even when she adds in Santana, and his music is so trademark and familiar, you can still hear the African bones underneath it.

  3. alot_luckiness’s avatar

    Would you please send me the sedjedo track?


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