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This last Sunday (April 4th, 2010) I took a drive to OST in Newtown to experience Red Bull’s Afro Picks, a live show that is recorded and made available on Red Bull Music Academy Radio. Initially recorded at the Red Bull Music Studios in Cape Town with telephonic interviews and music, this was the second instalment of the live experience and the second show in Joburg.

Hosted by the legendary DJ Kenzhero and Lee Kasumba, each Afro Picks show focuses on artists from a different country on the African continent and last weekend’s show featured Kenyan artist Liz Ogumbo. The five Cape Town shows, covered: Hip Hop Pantsula (South Africa); Syd Salmon, Leila and journalist & lecturer Mr Sertse (Ethiopia); Karim from Arabian Knightz (Egypt); Reggie Rockstone (Ghana); and Nneka (Nigeria). For 2010, the first one they did was on Mozambique with Simba and the Brown Band performing live as well as talking about the industry in Mozambique.

Image by Liam Lynch

Image by Liam Lynch

Model, fashion designer, spoken word artist and musician, Liz has recently setup base in South Africa to grow her sound and submerge herself in the beauty of collaboration. She has also signed with Gallo and is working on her debut album to be released in next month or two in South Africa and east Africa. She sings in English, Swahili, Luo and French and is inspired by fashion, music, Africa, love and life.

RJ Benjamin / Bheki Khoza

RJ Benjamin / Bheki Khoza

The band she performed with is led by the phenomenal guitarist and composer Bheki Khoza and the show also featured extraordinary musician, composer, producer RJ Benjamin, a truly creative musical genius. The turnout wasn’t as great as one would have hoped but the performances were exceptional which is an absolute given considering the artists on stage. In addition to a pre-planned set, Liz, Bheki and RJ also frolicked allowing the moments to dictate the music.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jg0Hjn3dUfE

If you ever have the opportunity, definitely check out an Afro Picks session. Keep an eye and ear out for Liz’s new album and do not let a chance to watch Bheki Khoza or RJ Benjamin ever pass you by. See videos of them at Afro Picks on my YouTube Channel.

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About Kojo Baffoe

Of Ghanaian/German heritage, raised in Lesotho and currently based in Johannesburg, South Africa, Kojo is the proverbial slashie, the professional ‘jack of all trades.’ He is an entrepreneur, writer, facilitator, content architect, former men’s magazine editor and speaker. He has a Bachelor of Commerce (1994) with majors in Economics, Marketing and Business Administration from the former the University of Natal (Durban), now University of KwaZulu-Natal.

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