In Salala, Angélique Kidjo and Peter Gabriel merge their two distinct styles—and languages—on a rhythm that is at turns hypnotic and bright and complements the energies of both musicians as their voices meld together.
A collaboration with Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter and producer Alicia Keys and saxophonist Branford Marsalis, Djin Djin opens Angélique Kidjo’s 2007 album of the same name. The song is an exciting and harmonious mixture of instrumentals and voices as Kidjo’s exuberance meets Keys’ smoothness. Both are accented by Marsalis’ melodious saxophone riffs, which sweep in and out of a drum-lead beat.
The jubilant “Ae Ae” is a collaboration between Angèlique Kidjo and the multitalented and influential Senegalese musician, Youssou N’Dour. Both artists bring power, endurance, and joyfulness to this bonus track from the 2007 album, Djin Djin.
On January 17th 2014, the Orchestre Philharmonique Du Luxembourg performed the premiere of the Ifé, the cycle of songs Philip Glass composed for Angelique, using her own lyrics from three poems she wrote in the Yoruba language. The songs were performed again at the Philharmonie de Paris on October 3, 2015.
Angélique Kidjo pairs up with the inimitable Josh Groban for the sorrowful Pearls. The heartfelt ballad joins together the power of two unforgettable voices that speak to the pain and struggle of “a woman in Somalia” who is takes “pearls home to her little girl.” The track also features guitar by Carlos Santana.
A rearrangement of Vampire Weekend’s I Think Ur a Contra from the album Contra (2010), this new version is a collaboration between Angélique and Vampire Weekend front man Ezra Koenig. Koenig’s soft tenor meets Angélique’s velvety alto in this exciting duet between two generations and two cultures.
In 2007 on the Djin Djin album, Angélique collaborated with the Malian husband and wife duo, Amadou & Miriam, for Senamou, which joins together the lively, enduring voices of three West African talents.
Nigerian-French singer Asa’s deep, breathy vocals lead off this joyful arrangement from Angélique Kidjo’s most recent album, Eve (2014).
Angélique Kidjo, U2 front man and humanitarian Bono, and singer-songwriter and activist John Legend, join together in this rearrangement of Curtis Mayfield’s classic hit, Move On Up for the 2010 FIFA World Cup album.
Kulumbu features guitar from singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Dr. John. With Angélique Kidjo’s singsong vocals and Dr. John’s stringy guitar, the song is a kind of blend of American and West African folk.
Angélique Kidjo joins together with Kronos Quartet, an American string quartet based in San Francisco, for the exciting Ebile from the 2014 album Eve. Ebile combines rhythmic African drums with a dynamic strings arrangement that courses throughout, providing a fluid but active pace to the song.
Angélique’s version of Carlos Santana’s Samba Pa Ti includes lyrics that encourage coming together with those who bring feelings of peace, love, and joy. Joined by American jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove, who adds a burst of exultation to Santana’s gentle guitar melody, Samba Pa Ti is at once a celebration and a lullaby. From Õÿö, 2010.
Nakupenda Africa means “I love you Africa” in Swahili. With this song, which was a collaboration between Angélique Kidjo and South African singer-songwriter and activist, Vusi Mahlasela, the two artists express love for their continent, celebrating both their differing countries and cultures while united as musicians and as Africans. Nakupenda Africa was performed at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
With accompaniment by the exquisitely soulful jazz vocalist Dianne Reeves, Monfe Ran E combines the depth, range, and passion of two important singers, joining not only their voices, but also serving as an example of the abundance of diversity within the African diaspora. From Õÿö, 2010.
English singer-songwriter Joss Stone soulful vocals join Angélique Kidjo’s Gimme Shelter, as the two musicians sing not only of the dangers of war imposed upon women and children, but also of how love “is just a kiss away.” From Djin Djin, 2007.
Italian singer-songwriter, Carmen Consoli, joins Angélique Kidjo on Emma (Djin Djin), which interweaves both voices along with transcontinental instrumentals, with both African drums and acoustic guitar carrying a smooth rhythm.
The Fon word “sedjedo” means “the wisdom that comes with age.” In her collaboration on the album From Djin Djin with Jamaican reggae musician Ziggy Marley, the wisdom and vivacity of both artists fuse together in this celebration of life well-lived.
Angélique joins Herbie Hancock and Carlos Santana on Safiatou, from Hancock’s 2005 album Possibilities. Hancock’s composition mixes the styles of all three performers, with Santana’s cascading guitar riffs, Kidjo’s expressive rhythm, and Hancock’s playful jazz piano.
Angélique Kidjo joins French Guianese singer and musical legend Henri Salvador on “Le Monde Comme Un Bebé,” a sweet ballad sung in French that encourages us to “Imagine the world like a baby,” to forgive, and show affection to each other no matter our nationalities, cultures, colors, or religions.
On her 2002 album, Black Ivory Soul, Angelique Kidjo includes a version of Gilberto Gil’s Refavela. On this new version, Kidjo’s voice harmonizes to add even more vitality to a classic song, with Gil’s refrain sutured in to complete a chorus of cultural exchange.
From the Black Ivory Soul album, a collaboration between Angélique Kidjo and American singer-songwriter and guitarist Dave Matthews, Iwoya is a bright and leisurely song that alternates between Kidjo’s Yoruba and Matthews’s English.
From Indian percussionist Trilok Gurtu’s 1999 album Massical, African Fantasy is a dreamy composition featuring Angélique Kidjo’s lullaby-like vocals.
This hypnotic Never Know from Angélique Kidjo’s 1998 album Oremi, includes entrancing, rhythmic vocals from the unforgettable jazz musician Cassandra Wilson.
Another Kidjo/Wilson collaboration, Run the Voodoo Down, from Wilson’s Traveling Miles (1999)
This jazzy number is a collaboration between prolific saxophonist and composer Branford Marsalis and Angélique Kidjo. Ithe Koutche playfully alternates between Kidjo’s punchy vocals and Marsalis’s funky riffs.
A live performance of Itche Koutche at Tramps in New York City on September 26, 1998.