We’ve reviewed Sauti Sol’s self-produced third album Live and Die in Afrika. As noted in the review, this album is quite a feast when it comes to the variety in production and musical influences from all over the African continent and around the world. Here’s a look at some of the samples and possible musical influences in the album which have a bias towards stuff from the 80s and 90s:
02. Live and Die in Afrika
The title track samples Retirantes by Brazilian singer-songwriter Dorival Caymmi, a song best known as the opening theme to Escrava Isaura, one of the most popular telenovelas of all time. This was probably the best thought out sample of the album. After all, Retirantes is all about the sad lives of millions of African slaves who were shipped to the Americas for cheap labour. Sauti Sol turn this narrative around and use the song to portray positive and hopeful things about the new Africa.
The other inspiration behind the song is Dr. Alban’s biggest hit Hello Africa from way back in 1990. Remember his work with Swahili Nation back in the day?
05. It’s Okay
This track samples Franco’s 12’600 Lettres. The 70s rumba icon’s song is a lament about wives not getting along with their husbands siblings. Still sounds good with Sauti Sol’s semi-breakup theme on It’s Okay.
The title and chorus is inspired by Eko Dyda’s Niko Na Reason featuring Holy Dave.
10. Nerea ft. Amos & Josh
The guitar riffs on Nerea sounds like it was possibly inspired by Tracy Chapman’s Fast Car. The jury is still out on that one though.
14. Shake Yo Bam Bam
This track is heavily influenced by the 2002 Diwali Riddim, the source of many a dancehall hit including T.O.K’s Galang Gal, Sean Paul’s Get Busy, Brick & Lace’s Love Is Wicked and Lumidee’s Never Leave You.