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Angélique Kidjo Reclaims Rock With 'Remain In Light,' A Full Circle Re-Imagining Of Landmark Talking Heads Album

Global pop star and 3-time Grammy winner Angélique Kidjo has partnered with super producer Jeff Bhasker (Rihanna, Kanye West, Harry Styles, Bruno Mars, Drake, Jay-Z) to create 'Remain In Light' - a new project that finds the Benin-born artist reclaiming rock for Africa, bringing the Talking Heads' landmark 1980 album full circle. The record is a track-by-track re-imagination of the original, considered to be one of the greatest albums of the ‘80s and deeply influenced by music from West Africa, notably Fela Kuti's afrobeat. With her version of 'Remain In Light’ (out June 8/Kravenworks Records), Angélique celebrates the genius of Talking Heads, Brian Eno and the touchstones that made the original so revered and injects it with her euphoric singing, explosive percussion, horn orchestrations, and select lyrics performed in languages from her home country.

‘Remain In Light’ features appearances by Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend, Blood Orange, Tony Allen, Antibalas Horns, Angélique’s longtime guitarist Dominic James, and Magatte Sow (percussionist for the ‘Black Panther’ film score). Visual artist Kerry James Marshall collaborated on the album artwork. This spring and summer, Angélique will be touring extensively, including special ‘Remain In Light’ performances in Los Angeles and London. Full list of dates below.

Watch the video for “Born Under Punches” (directed by Jeff Bhasker and conceptualized by Kerry James Marshall) and read a Q&A with Angélique and Jeff at Rolling Stone and on YouTube.

“Stunning…a perfect counterpart to Talking Heads’ record...The music is jittery and dense in a new way that separates it from its source material.” – Rolling Stone

“As ‘Remain In Light’ was influenced by the music of my continent, I want to pay back the homage and create my own African take on Talking Heads’ songs, ” says Angélique. “We all know that rock music came from the blues and thus from Africa. Now is the time to bring rock back to Africa, connect our minds, and bring all our sounds to a new level of sharing and understanding.”

This album is the culmination of Angélique’s deep-rooted love and respect for the original: she performed it in full at Carnegie Hall last year to raves (with the New York Times declaring, ”Ms. Kidjo isn’t toppling an icon; she is dancing on its heights”) and was joined by David Byrne on stage. She also performed it at Bonnaroo.

Angélique Kidjo is known for her visionary music and her wide-ranging activist efforts. She is a three-time Grammy winner whom NPR has called “Africa’s greatest living diva.” Angélique has collaborated with Alicia Keys, Bono, Carlos Santana and countless more, and her “Ifé” project found her performing three all-new Phillip Glass compositions in the Yoruba language. Angélique travels the world advocating on behalf of children in her capacity as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador while her charitable foundation, Batonga, is dedicated to supporting the education of young girls in Africa. The Guardian has named Angélique one of its “Most Inspiring Women in the World.”



TRACKLIST FOR ‘REMAIN IN LIGHT’

Born Under Punches
Crosseyed and Painless
The Great Curve
Once in a Lifetime
Houses in Motion
Seen and Not Seen
Listening Wind
The Overload


TOUR DATES:

Mar 23 – Birmingham, AL @ University of Alabama

Apr 04 – Saint Brieuc, France @ La Passerelle Scene Nationale#

Apr 05 – Rennes, France @ Opéra de Rennes#

Apr 06 – Saint-Martin-Des-Champs, France @ Le Roudour#

Apr 07 – Queven, France @ Les Arcs

Apr 13 – Cambridge, MA @ Sanders Theatre

May 02 – Seattle, WA @ Benaroya Hall*

May 04 – Berkeley, CA @ The UC Theatre*

May 05 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Theatre at Ace Hotel*

June 01 – Warzberg, Germany @ Africa Festival, Talavera Mainwisen

June 08 – London, UK @ Royal Festival Hall*

July 11 – Arles, Fr @ Theatre Antique

July 26 – Vic-Fezensac, Fr @ Tempo Latino CC%

July 28 – Katonah, NY @ Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts

August 6 – Highland Park, IL @ Ravinia*

August 7 – Vienna, VA @ Wolf Trap*

August 9 – Denver, CO @ Denver Botanic Gardens*



* - ‘Remain in Light’ performance

# - Solo shows with the Brittany Symphony

% - “Angélique Kidjo’s Tribute to Salsa” performance
 
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