June 25, 2012: Featuring the top names in the contemporary African urban and hip-hop scene, the United Sounds of Africa (USA) will kick off their first ever North American tour in August, 2012 with shows in select markets. The tour, orchestrated by Interglobe Entertainment Group (IEG) and Live Nation, will introduce music fans on this side of the Atlantic to current African artists including headliner 2face Idibia, recently profiled on CNN as one of "Africa's 10 Biggest Stars" and winner of the BET Network's 2011 "Best African Artist" award. Tickets are on sale now; for more information click on the dates to the right.
"It's a massive moment!," says 2face of the tour. "United Sounds of Africa presents a perfect platform to connect with fans of the beautiful music coming out of Africa and taking the world by storm. I'm excited and it's going to be a lot of fun."
"I'm proud to be joining 2face and everyone on stage as a part of this very first United Sounds of Africa tour," says M.I., known to the media and fans as "Africa's Best Rapper." "I think American audiences will be blown away by the talent and diversity onstage and by how much the African music scene has to offer. These will be amazing shows."
With the first stop on August 1 in Houston, TX, the tour will also feature Nigerian artists M.I. and Brymo, all signed to Nigerian record label Chocolate City. Other artists include Timi Dakolo, first-ever winner of Africa's version of American Idol, J Martins, who's popular in Africa's francophone countries, and Iyanya, the first winner of MTN's West African "Project Fame" reality TV show.
IEG created the USA project to bring the best African music vocalist/artists/ composers together for a series of live performances uniting Africa's diverse musical cultures. In addition, the USA tour will connect current African artists with those of the diaspora, continuing the legacy of such globally successful, African-born artists as Akon, Sade, K'naan and others.
"USA is musical bridge that musically connects our taste, culture and lifestyle," says Jinadu. "This will be an open platform for any audience that relates to a musical exchange and collaboration from one continent to the other." Says Jay Belin of Live Nation, "This tour presents Live Nation with the unique opportunity of introducing some of Africa's top musical talent to crowds across the country. The combined efforts of IEG, The Agency Group and our local offices will help in opening up the United States to a diverse music scene that is rich in culture and producing current superstars who are ready for the spotlight."
Agent Jeremy Holgerson at the Agency Group says that this is the first such tour of many. "We see this as the premiere tour for what will become yearly event that will showcase the wealth of talent and music that is coming from Africa right now."
Headliner 2face Idibia, the new heir to Nigerian's legendary music scene, combines reggae and hip-hop and has received numerous international awards and accolades. The globally renowned performer has collaborated with Mary J. Blige, R. Kelly and many others. His new album, Away and Beyond, was proclaimed a "five-star display from the Field Marshall of Nigerian music" by the Nigerian press (click to read the article)
Nigerian producer/multi-instrumentalist/lyricist M.I., winner of the 2009 world hip-hop award, has been described by DIV as "the future of African hip-hop." Fuji soul singer Brymo, who first gained fame on Ice's Prince's track "Oleku," has just released a new acoustic track, "We All Need Somebody" on Chocolate City. Jesse Jagz, often described as the Nigerian Kanye West, is also a chart topper in his native country with such hits as "Pump it Up." Iyanya, who's had a string of hits in West Africa, will be presenting Nigeria in the UK's Africa Unplugged concert this August. Along with Timi Dakolo and J Martins, this bill offers audiences a chance to experience the diverse talents of these seven vital, amazing artists on one stage.