Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

11. DukeUingizaji Hewa

This is from a label called Nyege Nyege. It was a very important label find for me. It’s in Uganda, founded by white guys but still – not in Europe. And they’re doing quite amazing work with the local scene and the neighbouring scenes, finding things that exist and sharing it with people not from there. The Mighty Duke is sung in Swahili. Quite a long time ago I discovered a Tanzanian hip-hop artist called Professor Jay, and I was obsessed with him, and I was also obsessed with the Swahili language – it’s somewhere between Arabic and English and, I guess, a projection of what “African” might sound like. So this record came out in 2019, and I was DJing with my friend Cõvco, and we were only playing stuff that was 140bpm and above. And we played a lot of music from Nyege Nyege, and it just introduced me to singeli music, which I’m pretty sure comes from Tanzania, and it’s very very fast. That genre is popular music and it sounds crazy in our clubs, but it’s not underground at all in Tanzania. I think we need to stop being so Eurocentric, we have this image of ourselves that’s very limited and untrue of being at “the forefront”.

I think most things at the forefront and pushing boundaries are happening outside of Europe and the United States. This is a beautiful piece of music that testifies that. It’s demented in my ears in a good way. I’m sure Busta Rhymes might link with these guys and push them to go even faster. But these bridges of moms and dads and cousins that have evolved over time, it’s places that I’m interested in too. This music echoes some of the other people on this list – again, it’s pushing the limits of music, but it’s also popular music.

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