On May 1st, Razor & Tie and Starbucks Entertainment will co-release Djin Djin (pronounced “gin gin”), the new album by international music star and UNICEF goodwill ambassador Angelique Kidjo. Produced by the legendary Tony Visconti (David Bowie, Morrissey, T. Rex), Djin Djin finds the Benin-born Kidjo partnering with such luminaries as Josh Groban, Alicia Keys, Peter Gabriel, Carlos Santana, Joss Stone and Ziggy Marley to create an album which is truly global in scope. Other special guests on the album include Amadou and Mariam and Branford Marsalis. The CD will be available simultaneously at Starbucks Company-operated locations in the U.S. and Canada as well as traditional retail.
Inspired by the traditions and culture of Kidjo’s native Benin in West Africa, the title of the album refers to the sound of the bell that greets the beginning of a new day for Africa. Similar to Kidjo’s recent works, Djin Djin finds Angelique singing in her native languages as well as in English and French. As a child, Kidjo was mesmerized by an iconic album cover of Jimi Hendrix, which led her to follow the African roots of music from the United States, Brazil and the Carribean. The results were the Grammy-nominated trilogy of albums, Oremi, Black Ivory Soul and Oyaya. On Djin Djin, Angelique returns to her Beninese roots, building an album around the most traditional rhythms from her country. With the help of accomplished West African musicians, she recorded Djin Djin at Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Lady Studio in New York City.
One of the album’s stand-out tracks is a cover of Sade’s moving “Pearls”, a duet between Kidjo and Josh Groban that includes the signature guitar work of Carlos Santana. Groban was so impressed by Kidjo that he asked her to be the sole support for his entire upcoming North American tour. Of Kidjo, Groban stated, “I have been a fan of Angelique’s for many years now. Her voice, her spirit, the way she connects is awe-inspiring and I’m so honored to have collaborated with her. She also has a wicked sense of humor and I am positive our time together on tour will be a blast.” The trek kicks off on February 17th in Verona, NY at Turning Stone Events Center.
Angelique Kidjo began performing in the Beninese port village of Cotonou. The political turmoil in her country led her to pursue her career in Paris. There, Kidjo’s striking voice and stage presence, and her fluency in multiple cultures and languages won her respect from her peers and expanded her following across national borders. It also earned her access to activists who sensed humanitarian passion in the words of her songs, resulting in her long-term dedication to global charity work. Kidjo has traveled far, mesmerizing audiences on countless stages, speaking out on behalf of the children in her capacity as a UNICEF goodwill ambassador.
For information on the Josh Groban/Angelique Kidjo North American Tour, please go to the Global Rhythm Live Music section of our website.
Angelique Kidjo will be featured on the cover of Global Rhythm's May issue.