The just concluded Grammy award was an event organized to honour hard work and excellence, and although hopes were shot high for Burna Boy, it was still a thing to be proud of, having the CELIA album by Angelique kidjo as world music album of the year.
The release date of CELIA was on the 19th of April 2019, and the album was a salsa and tropical genre, under the Universal Music label, division Decca records, France. The album, featured artistes like Tony Allen, Meshell Ndegeocello,David Donatien, Shabaka Hutchings, Sons of kemet and The Gangbé Brass Brand.
CELIA has ten songs in the tracklist, namely;
_ La vida es un carnival
_ Bemba colora
When Kidjo was younger, she went to see Celia Cruz sing with Johnny Pacheco at a concert in Cotonou. She had an inner feeling that she was on familiar ground, that she also had that same zeal “I’m sure this was when she decided to be a singer. After many years,she crossed paths with Queen Celia in a Parisian theatre where she was singing Quimbara,a song composed by Junior Cepeda in 1974 who was from Puerto Rico.
Kidjo could hear African percussion I’m the voice of Celia Cruz. She could recognize the structure of the drums played by the Yoruba people and hear the names of Chango and Yemanja, gods that were common to the sphere of voodoo.
Angelique Kidjo’s inspiration came from Celia Cruz, she said,
“As a child I saw Celia Cruz singing in Benin and her energy and joy changed my life. It was the first time I was seeing a powerful woman performer on stage. Her voice was percussive and her song resonated in a magnificent way within me. Many years later, I learnt she was singing in Yoruba songs that were carried out of Benin 400 years before.”
She also continued saying
” I felt she was a long lost sister from the other side of the world. Like me, she experienced exile from a dictatorship and she was always proud of her root,of her African roots. In the same way I wanted to bring back Rock and Roll to Africa with my talking heads remain in light project. I now want to pay homage to this incredible voice and those songs that reunite us with their juju and afrobeat roots”
Angelique Kidjo was motivated by her music goddess/ muse Celia Cruz whom she kept looking up to. Trust me, she has benefitted and gained recognitions all because she followed her dream to follow Celia Cruz footsteps. Kidjo’s Celia album was done to honour the source of her early inspiration Celia Cruz.
We wish her more inspirations and more wins in the industry.