Hip-Hop, rhythm and blues, jazz, reggae—many kinds of popular music have roots in Africa. Last night, the West African Music Ensemble brought to life the connection between drumming, dancing and singing during their performance “The Path and the River.” Distinct at Bowdoin in its non-Western approach to music, the ensemble is directed by Adjunct Lecturer in Music Jordan Benissan—a master drummer of Ewe people of West Africa, esteemed for complex cross-rhythms.
Jaden Dixon ’21 is an artist and producer from Davenport, FL. He recently released his first EP, “Moving Forward,” as well as his first music video for the track, “Wait Up.” Jaden’s music is featured on all major streaming platforms. The following interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Sitting in 24 College Street, the atmosphere is electric. Alana Morrison ’20, a model-turned-singer, taps the microphone, and it echoes throughout the room. Other members of Alana’s team test background beats from the computer set up in front of rows of empty chairs.
Remember when Kobe Bryant tweeted about “Carter V season?” Neither do we. It was part of a promotional campaign back in 2014, when “Tha Carter V” was originally set to release that May. Lil Wayne promised the album three more times in 2014, all in vain due to legal battles with Cash Money Records.
Noname doesn’t need your labels. In the years since her breakout mixtape Telefone, she’s been called “the anti-Cardi B” and “the female Kendrick” by fans eagerly awaiting a second project. While her soft spokenness suggests the former and her lyricial knack the latter, she detests both of these backhanded compliments, telling the Fader, “I’m just Fatimah.” Some already know Fatimah (better known by her stage name Noname) from her stand out features on Chance the Rapper’s early material, or her solo work as Noname on Telefone, a brilliantly warm tape about love, loss and joy in her home Chicago.
My 17th birthday was on a Friday. I woke up to some lovely cards from my family, happy birthday messages from friends and a couple posts on Facebook. I went to school. Around early afternoon, an hour or so before classes let out, I received a text from a friend of mine: “Dude listen to this shit now, it’s insane.” I went into the bathroom, turned my earbuds up, and listened to “HEAT” by Brockhampton (which I soon discovered had no relationship to the Hamptons), off of an album called SATURATION.
Ariana Smith ’21 and Flora Hamilton ’21, members of the Bowdoin jazz program, are creative partners in writing and performing original music on campus. Smith is a singer-songwriter, and Hamilton is a jazz pianist. The following interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Although the student band Gingersnap is relatively new to the Bowdoin music scene, it is already leaving its mark on campus. Last week, the group won first place for its performance at Battle of the Bands—only its second performance together—and earned the spot as the opening act for D.R.A.M.
Nicole Tjin A Djie ’21: What got you started with music? Daniel Mayer ’21: My dad and my brother were both musicians, so I got started on piano really early. I didn’t really like it so I started playing my dad’s guitar and I picked that up really easily.
This year, the Bowdoin College Concert Band will reach a new milestone: its director, John Morneau, will have led the group for 30 consecutive years. “It’s just what I like to do. I just haven’t felt the need for time off,” said Morneau.