Tshepiso Makhele
3 minute read
6 May 2016
12:24 pm

Exciting lineup for Maputo festival

Tshepiso Makhele

Multi-award winning Mzansi songstress Zahara and legendary DJ Kenzhero will be representing South Africa.

The exciting lineup for this year’s Azgo Festival, happening in Maputo on the May 20 and 21, has been announced.

Azgo Festival is Mozambique’s finest international arts festival; bringing together a diverse and quality program of music, film, and dance to the city of Maputo across two days and nights. Azgo is a contemporary celebration of arts and culture, with a strong focus on artists from Mozambique and from around the continent of Africa.

Sounds represented at the festival, happening at Eduardo Mondlane University, span everything from Afro-soul to electro, marrabenta to coupé-décalé, hip-hop to kizomba, R&B to pop to dance to reggae, panza and much more.

This year’s line-up includes a wealth of talent from across the globe. Multi-award winning Mzansi songstress Zahara and legendary DJ Kenzhero will be representing South Africa. From across the continent, Azgo Festival will host Kenya’s award-winning Afro-Pop band Sauti Sol, Angolan poet/musician Paulo Flores, Cape Verdean star Lura and Swazi soul singer Bholoja.

The festival welcomes diasporic African artists half Cameroonian, half New Zealander “electric blue witch hop-hop” act Estère and Canadian Somali “doom soul” artists Cold Specks. Switzerland’s Pablo Nouvelle, Maya Kamaty (Reunion Island), Bholoja (Swaziland), Kingfisha (Australia) and (Spain) round out the international artists.

From Mozambique the festival will feature the Tributo an Alexandre Langa featuring Yolanda Kakana, Roberto Chitsondzo, Muzilla, Wazimba. Mozambique’s biggest and most political hip-hop act Azagaia, dub/reggae stars Gran’mah and R&B/soul act Deltino Guerreiro lead the next generation of Mozambique music.

Timbila Muzimba and Xidimingwana represent the roots of Mozambique music with marrabenta and traditional rhythms. Afro Madjaha and New Joint bring the late night Afro-house vibes. Neyma, Mr Bow, Denny OG and Bander represent Mozamique’s finest pop, coupé-décalé and panza.

“Azgo’ is old slang from Maputo to say ‘let’s go’, let’s revisit our cultures and heritage, ‘let’s go’ promote cultural diversity,” says organizer Paulo Chibanga. Chibanga best known as the drummer in legendary band 340 ml says “Maputo is a fun city, there is plenty of affordable accommodation and of course this year’s lineup is amazing, so a great time is guaranteed for Mozambicans and visitors.”

He adds that with the Azgo Festival, they aim to bring together various genres, different crowds and different artists, emerging and well-known. “This serves as a platform for emerging and acclaimed artists to collaborate and meet a new audience.”

Azgo Festival is all about promoting Mozambican cultural heritage and artistic life as well as promoting Mozambique as a destination for music lovers, whilst creating a platform to promote music exchanges between local and international artists and establishing a network with music events and initiatives in Southern Africa, on the continent and overseas.

This festival is part of the African Music Festival Network (AMFN) and a founding member of the Southern African Music Festival Circuit (SAMFC), which encompasses Africa Day at Bassline (Joburg, South Africa), Bushfire Festival (Swaziland), Sakifo (Reunion Island), HIFA (Zimbabwe) and Zakifo (Durban, South Africa).