The Africa Express has picked up another passenger! Ghanaian rapper M.anifest is due to star in this epic tour of eighty musicians – African and Western – all aboard one train doing a string of shows across the United Kingdom in the first week of September. M.anifest will join a surreal list that includes the likes of Damon Albarn, Nneka, Temper Traps, Kano, Baaba Maal, Tony Allen, Rizzle Kicks, M1 (Dead Prez), Rokia Traoré, Noisettes, to name a few.
This will be M.anifest’s third trip with Africa Africa express after previously joining them for gigs in France and Spain. It was in the aftermath of those first forays that M.anifest was invited to feature on Rocket Juice & Moon (Damon Albarn, Tony Allen, Flea) alongside Erykah Badu and other guests.
In an Interview with the Guardian M.anifest shared some more light about his experience with Africa Express: “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.”
Africa Express began in 2006 with a trip to Mali, when co-founder Damon Albarn took the likes of Fatboy Slim, Martha Wainwright and Jamie T to work with African legends such as Toumani Diabate, Salif Keita, Amadou & Mariam and Bassekou Kouyate. This was followed by a trial London event, then the now-legendary Glastonbury 2007 show, followed by trips to Nigeria, the Congo, Ethiopia and shows at the BBC Electric Proms, Paris and Spain for 25,000 people in Paris town centre and with 50,000 people on a Spanish beach show.
“I joined the Africa Express Train because I think its path forging; a representation of this much needed paradigm shift of how we’re characterized by outsiders. But truthfully the most compelling reason for me to be there is that it would be plain silly to ignore how much fun this threatens to be. In a few days I’m going to be one of eighty passengers on a train filled with a mind-blowing list of musicians. Anything can happen. And indeed magical things will happen,” he commented on Huffington Post
M.anifest promises to bring his characteristic energy, ‘vim’ as he famously calls it, and sharp intellgent lyrics to the party. The Africa Express train has its first stop in Middlesbrough September 3rd and ends in London September 8 with a show at Granary Square at King’s Cross.
Show dates and ticket information:
3 – Town Hall – Middlesbrough
4 – The Arches – Glasgow
5 – The Ritz – Manchester
6 – Solus (Cardiff University) – Cardiff
7 – The Big Top @ Creative Common – Bristol
8 – Granary Square at King’s Cross