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Pop Music in Africa非洲的流行音乐

 

  Young musicians in African countries are creating a new kind of pop music . The tunes and the rhythms of their music combine African traditions with various forms of music popular today, such as hip-hop, rap, rock, jazz, or reggae. The result is music that may sound familiar to listeners anywhere in the world, but at the same time is distinctly African. It is different also in another way:Many of the songs are very serious and they deal with important social or political issues in Africa today.

 

  非洲国家的年轻音乐家们创造了一种流行音乐的新形式。音调与旋律不仅有传统的非洲因素也有当 下十分流行的各种形式,比如嘻哈、说唱打击乐、摇滚、爵士或者是瑞格舞。这样就使这 种音乐让世界 各地的听者都觉得很熟悉,而它又是典型的非洲音乐。这种音乐在另一方面也有所不同:很多音乐有着 严肃的主题,与当今非洲重要的社会问题和政治问题相关。

 

  Eric Wainaina is one of these African musicians. He grew up in Nairobi, Kenya, in a family of musicians. As a teenager, he listened to pop music from the United States, and later he moved to Boston to study at the Berklee College of Music. Now he has produced a CD in Kenya. Eric's most popular song, "Land of ‘A Little Something’“ is about Kenya's problem of bribery, or paying others for illegal favors . He wants people to listen to his songs and think about how to make Kenya a better place to live.

 

  Eric Wainaina 是这些非洲音乐家的其中之一。他成长于肯尼亚内罗毕的一个音乐世家。少年 时期他 就昕美国的流行音乐,之后就读于波士顿 Berklee College 学习音乐。现在他在肯尼亚发了 一张 CD。他最红的歌曲是"Land of ? A Little Something' , 这首歌是有关肯尼亚行贿受贿问题的。他希望人们听他的歌曲 然后思考如何让肯尼亚变成更好的居住地。

 

  Another musician who writes serious songs is Witness Mwaijaga from Tanzania. Her own experiences have helped her understand the suffering of many African women. At the age of fifteen she lost her home, but she was luckier than other homeless young people. She could make a living by writing songs and singing on the street. By the time she was eighteen years old, she had become a star. Her songs are written in rap or hip-hop style about the problems that she sees in Tanzania, especially AIDS and the lack of rights for women.1

 

  另一个写有关严肃主题音乐的音乐家是来自坦桑尼亚的 Witness Mwaijaga。 她的个人经历让 她能够切 身体会非洲妇女所受的苦难。她15岁的时候失去了家,但是比起和她一样无家可归 的年轻人来说她很幸 运。她可以靠写歌和在街头卖唱维持生计。在她18岁的时候,她成为一 个明星。她用嘻哈和说唱的风格 写歌,歌曲的内容是坦桑尼亚的各种问题,特别是艾滋病和女 性权利的缺失。

 

  Baaba Maal, from Senegal, also feels that pop music must go beyond entertainment. He says that in Senegal, storytellers have always been important people. In the past, they were the ones who kept the history of their people alive. Baaba believes that songwriters now have a similar responsibility. They must write about the world around them and help people understand how it could be better. The words of his songs are important, in fact. They speak of peace and cooperation among Africans, as well as the rights of women, love for one' s family, and saving the environment.2

 

  来自塞内加尔的 BaabaMaal 也认为流行音乐不仅仅是为了娱乐。他在塞内加尔说过,故事的 讲述者 往往是重要的人物。在^:去,他们是人民历史的书写者。他认为写歌者也拥有同样的责任。 他们必须写 他们周围的世界,帮助人民明白如何使它变得更好。事实上,歌词的内容十分重要。他倡导在非洲要和 平与协作,同时也包括妇女权利、热爱家庭和保护环境。

 

  One of South Africa's most popular musicians is Brenda Fassie. She is sometimes compared to Madonna, the American pop star, because she likes to shock people in her shows. But she also likes to make people think. She became famous in the 1980s for her simple pop songs against apartheid. Now that apartheid has ended, her songs are about other issues in South African culture and life. To sing about these, she uses local African languages and a new pop style called kwaito.

 

  南美最流行的音乐家之一是 Brenda Fassie。 她可以与美国流行巨星麦当娜媲美, 因为她的舞 台表现力 震撼人心。但是她也喜欢让人深思。20世纪80年代她因为一首有关反对种族隔离的单 曲而一炮走红。现 在种族隔离巳经终止了,她的歌曲有关于南美政治和文化的其他方面。她使用传统的非洲语言与一种新 的流行形式库威多来歌唱。

 

  In recent years, people outside of Africa have also begun to listen to these young musicians. Through music, the younger generation of Africans are connecting with the rest of the world and, at the same time, influencing the rest of the world.

 

  近些年,非洲以外的人们都开始听这些年轻音乐家的歌曲。通过音乐,年青一代的音乐家使非洲与 世界其他的地方相连接,同时也影响着世界的其他地方。