Angelique Kidjo, the Benin born, Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter has signed with 429 Records and is gearing up for an incredible 2014. She’s preparing for the release of Eve, a vibrant new collection of songs dedicated to the power of African womanhood, particularly those women she grew up with in her native Benin; as well as planning a tour of the United States and promoting the release of her autobiography, Spirit Rising: My Life, My Music. Produced by Patrick Dillett (David Byrne, Fatboy Slim), Eve, named after her mother, is a joyous musical ode to the pride, beauty and strength of African women and their worldwide socio-cultural influence. The recording showcases Kidjo’s extraordinary musical vision as realized by remarkable players as well as women’s choirs from several African villages in Benin and Kenya singing in a wide array of native Beninese languages including Fon, Yoruba, Goun and Mina. Joining Kidjo is an exciting mix of new and well-known musicians including Dr. John, Rostamm Btmanglij (Vampire Weekend), The Kronos Quartet and the Orchestra Philharmonique du Luxumbourg. Anchoring the album are guitarist Lionel Loueke, drummer Steve Jordan, bass great Christian McBride and Senegalese percussionist Magatte Sow. The singer is releasing Eve in conjunction with the release January 7th of Spirit Rising: My Life, My Music, an autobiography written with Rachel Wenrick and published by Harper Collins. Angelique Kidjo’s Eve will be released on 429 Records January 28th.
Kidjo’s accolades include a 20 year discography, thousands of concerts around the world and being named “Africa’s premier diva” (Time Magazine) and “the undisputed Queen of African Music” (Daily Telegraph). Kidjo’s 2008 recording Djin Djin won a Grammy for Best Contemporary World Music Album and her last studio recording Oyo was nominated in the same category. She has enjoyed a long history of notable collaborations with greats from the jazz and pop worlds—including Carlos Santana, Bono, John Legend, Josh Groban, Peter Gabriel, Branford Marsalis, Dianne Reeves, Roy Hargrove and Alicia Keys. In an expansive career marked as much by extraordinary musical achievement as passionate advocacy and philanthropy for her homeland of Africa, Angelique Kidjo has found many ways to celebrate the rich, enlightening truth about the continent’s women beyond the media spotlight. Says Kidjo: “I’ve spoken for many years about the beauty of African women, and I don’t need to talk anymore about it because on this recording I am letting the voices of the women show their beauty to the world,” she adds. “Eve is all about showcasing the positivity they bring to their villages, cities, culture and the world.”