Young African Queens of the Diaspora: a playlist for you

I dare you to broaden your minds! Young African Queens of the Diaspora are here! Well, the latest playlist that is!¬†Listen to something new for a minute or 1 hour ūüôā In support of indie artists and musicians everywhere and divas of the African diaspora: English speaking, Spanish speaking, and those of various African or European languages are all on this short list together.¬† I put a new Youtube playlist together to listen to while I write. ¬†Actually, many of the artists¬†added to this playlist are not new, many of them have a¬†huge following¬†outside of the US but if you’re anything like me you may¬†find yourself listening to America’s top 40 constantly and just might enjoy listening or¬†learning about¬†other artists you haven’t heard before. So I went on a search on Youtube, this playlist consists of what I’ve found. Start listening now!

Now not to confuse or leave anyone out this 1st list consists of female¬†artists who are new to me and perhaps new on the landscape of music in the last¬†few years, I could of course populate a list with beautiful queens like Angelique Kidjo, Miriam Makeba, and Celia Cruz. But this list is something different. Please hit me with more names of artists who fit this title I learn something new everyday and look forward to hearing from you guys.¬†The Ask Saycon page is there for questions.¬†¬†Click the link to listen while you work. As a¬†kid I’ve always had a fascination with maps imagine all the¬†musicians of the African diapora making music throughout the world¬†and check out¬†a list of names below:

Rand McNally World Map

Click this map to start the “Young Queens of the African Diaspora” video playlist!


Peep the names listed below:





Tiwa Savage

Abena Koomson

Elasea Dougla

Fatoumata Diawara




Christine Horn

Shingai Shoniwa ( of the Noissetes)

Suzanna Lubrano

Emeli Sande


Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child on Fela! Tour

Its a small world! Indeed for Destiny’s Child alum, Michelle Williams, and myself it is! She will be taking on the role of Sandra in the latest tour of Fela scheduled to tour the world!

Michelle Williams

photo by Frederick M. Brown/ Getty Images

yellow and orange fela logoShe and I both played in Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida back in the day I was her *standby at that time.¬†And now she will play afro-beat queen¬†Sandra Izsadore. Sandra, notably is a activist, and performer and former girlfriend of Fela Kuti. She helped to infuse some of the political tone and strife to the Nigerian-born¬†music man who would become a leader in jazz and African music.

I’ll be excited to see Michelle in Fela! For those of you who don’t know, Fela! is the story of one of Africa’s most well known and prolific musicians, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, a Nigerian¬†man who’s music and very lifestyle stirred both hearts and controversy during his 20 plus years entertaining the world with his innovative “afro-beat genre of music”. I played Sandra Izsadore in the Original Broadway production¬†and also¬†sang on the Grammy nominated¬†cast recording¬†of Fela!¬†along with Sahr Ngaujah¬†(ABC’s Last Resort) and Kevin Mambo¬†(Cadillac Records). We appeared with director Bill T. Jones¬†in Vibe magazine during my shaved head days:

Fela cast in Juice issue of Vibe Magazine

Fela cast in Juice issue of Vibe Magazine


Miss Williams will be having a great year as she reportedly has new management and also recently signed to Light Records,¬†I copped her first recording and will definitely purchase the next. When we were on Broadway with Fela, Michelle came to see the show and gave me congratulatory hugs.¬†She was playing the role of Roxie Hart in “Chicago”, in the theatre right across the street at the time. A class act, she sent me flowers the very next day! So most definitely must return the favor!¬†I’ll never forget the fab white suit wore to her opening night party as Aida when we played at the Palace theatre. Although I’m currently in broadway’s ¬†Motown the Musica,l I continue to champion the story of Fela Kuti and to be a¬†supporter of the show, because the powerful music and piece of history the show represents.¬†My friends,¬† leading men¬†Duain Richardson, and Adesola Osakalumi will be headlining the tour along with the talented ¬†Danny Soto and “afro-soca” lady ¬†Shakira Marshall. On the SayconTalks blog look to the right under Favorite Links and click the Fela tour link for show dates.

*A standby is a sort of built in person who can resume a character at any moment and perform a role during special appearances or in the absence of the primarily advertised actor.