So one of the things that I have really gotten into last year are podcasts. As someone who has self-declared A.D.D. (attention deficit disorder), these short sessions of goodness are the best. While writing a report, I can break between sections and listen to something short and sweet which usually boosts me through the next work stint. Of course sometimes it just full out interrupts my train of work and instead of only listening to one, I end up listening to several. Unlike music which I can tone out, I’m usually interested in what these people are saying so it is hard to think of something else while I’m listening to them.
One of my favorite podcasts is called Afropop. The first thing that hits you is the accent of the host Georges Collinet. He sounds like someone making fun of a French speaker trying to speak English in a very dramatic way...but he is very fun and so enthusiastic you can't even hate the accent! Georges takes listeners throughout the continent to hear some of the best and newest beats coming out of Ethiopia, Guinea, Tunisia, Angola, Congo, and more. For example they had samples of the Senegalese Baaba Maal playing acoustic which was amazing! They also give samples of old school beats that I had never even heard of like late 1980s and early 1990s Ugandan music when artists were just beginning to sing about the plight of HIV/AIDS in their country. And of course to play you the latests from greats like Waldemar Bastos (Angola), Youssou N'Dour (Senegal), Eric Wainaina (Kenya - who I met in Nairobi and heard in a concert there - great musician) and basically everything out of Mali.
For lovers of music out there, this is a great 8-9 minute way to learn about new artists and styles rising out of Africa. Just remember to get back to the work after!