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    M.anifest: 'The spotlight is shining brightly on African music'

    by Corinne Jones, guardian.co.uk
    posted Sunday, 26 August 2012 21:45| 0 Comments

    M.anifest is a Ghanaian rap artist who divides his time between Ghana and the United States.

    He has been involved in previous Africa Express projects in Paris and Spain and has released three albums including his debut, 2007's Manifestations.

    How did you get involved with Africa Express?
    My first Africa Express experience was in 2010, at the Puma World Cup showcase they held in Paris. I got involved through a UK producer, Richy Pitch, who did an album while he was in Ghana featuring all Ghanaian artists, and my song happened to be a single. That kind of creative mashup is what Africa Express represents.

    What will you be doing this time?
    That's the billion-dollar question! It's always a mystery what's going to happen, and that's part of the excitement. Wherever we are, nobody is going to have a set idea of what to do – it's organised, but it's also about the collaborations we'll create on stage.

    So what persuaded you to take part?
    The idea seemed too good to be true. I saw it as this organised creative chaos that would be thrilling for both those on stage and the audiences. Africa Express breaks the rules and unsettles the boundaries that people think of in music. As much as it highlights African music, it's also about the collaborations between African musicians and other musicians that makes it special. In the past it's made a big impact creatively for me, being able to see many brilliant people at work, and there are always collaborations after Africa Express due to those people you get to meet. Last time, I was fortunate enough to be part of Damon [Albarn]'s Rocket Juice & the Moon project, so I'm now curious to see who I'll work with after this new Africa Express!

    Damon Albarn has said that "African music is the future of music". What's your opinion on that?
    I definitely agree. Now, more than ever, the spotlight is shining brightly on African music, partly because of these creative collaborations. People are seeing that African music is not static, but has all these different relations to traditional music and western pop music. People are using the term "Afropolitan" – I have no idea what it means, but it probably expresses how people are having a closer relationship with African music because of all these worldly connections.

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