Relix 44: Angélique Kidjo’s ‘Remain in Light’
photo by Danny Clinch
Welcome to the Relix 44. To commemorate the past 44 years of our existence, we’ve created a list of people, places and things that inspire us today, appearing in our September 2018 issue and rolling out on Relix.com throughout this fall. See all the articles posted so far here.
Once in a Lifetime: Angélique Kidjo’s Remain in Light
Remain in Light is so relevant in this time that we live in, which is why I decided to record it myself. We should remember that whatever happens around us in the world or in our lives, if we hang on to this light and we remain in this light, then things can move forward and we can find solutions.
We cannot allow darkness to shadow our light. So, for me, it’s a message to everyone in the world that we are here to live one life and we must live it to the fullest. Music helps us do that. That’s why this album means so much to me: to bring people together, the fans of the Talking Heads, all around the world. Talking Heads are a rock-and-roll band that make you question the verity of rock-and-roll that exists. When you talk about rock-and-roll most of the time, we think about The Rolling Stones and The Beatles, but the thing about the Talking Heads is that they can take rock-and-roll out of its comfort zone and go somewhere else.
Remain in Light, for me, brings rock-and-roll and Africa together. I listen to the album and feel so close to it. In 1992, the first American artist to come and support the artists that came from Africa was David Byrne, and it was really impressive for me to meet him. He came to see me after the show and told me how much he liked my album. We developed a relationship later when I moved to America in 1997. He welcomed me to New York and invited me to his place, and I did a lot of stuff with David impromptu. At one of my shows, I invited him to come and sing on one of my songs. He grabbed a guitar, we rehearsed for two minutes in the dressing room and boom, we did it.
That’s the type of artist he is. When he likes something, he’s not one to speak a lot; he has to prove it, and he has to do it.
This article originally appears in the September 2018 issue of Relix. For more features, interviews, album reviews and more, subscribe here.