Nigeria’s Tems, 1da Banton Make US Secretary of State 2021 Playlists
Nigerian pop stars Tems and 1da Banton have been listed in the 2021 playlist of United States Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.
Tems and 1da Banton were on Blinken’s two lists — one an “at home” compilation of American artists, the other an “on the road” selection inspired by places he’s visited over the past year.
1da Banton‘s song ‘No Wahala’ which encourages having fun despite life’s problems was in Blinken’s selection of songs he plays on the road.
Tems’ ‘Found’ in which she featured Brent Faiyaz was also on Blinken’s on the road selection category.
Three other African artists from Ghana, Mali, South Africa, and Kenya also made the list.
Ghana’s Bisa Kdei’s song “Yard” was featured in Blinken’s playlist on the road category. It was featured in a 2020 Netflix Christmas movie, Jingle Jangle.
Mali’s Hadja Fanta Diabate also entered the list with “Danger a Bamako Kabako”. Fanta, a participant in the State Department’s OneBeat Sahara program, has been dubbed the “Queen of Malian rock” by Malian press outlets.
South Africa’s Urban Village is in the list with “Ubaba”, a song that tells the story of fathers separated from their families in the 1990s in Soweto, as part of an apartheid-era regime strategy in which the men were forced to work in “the hostels,” or male-occupied working-class homes.
Blinken’s playlist has Kenya’s Fadhilee Itulya, who sang “Aoko”, a song from an album, Shindu Shi, which focuses on “good time” music, a love for Africa and the African people, and inspired by the 1950s finger-picking guitar style of Omutibo.
The “at home” list includes 17 choices, including Olivia Rodrigo’s “Traitor,” Taylor Swift’s “State of Grace,” Jon Batiste’s “Freedom,” Chris Stapleton’s “You Should Probably Leave” and “Leave the Door Open” from Bruno Mars, Anderson. Paak and Silk Sonic, “Holy” from Justin Bieber, featuring Chance the Rapper and many others.