Angélique Kidjo has announced plans for an unprecedented full-length live performance of Talking Heads’ Remain In Light, set for May 5th at New York City’s historic Carnegie Hall/Isaac Stern Hall. The three-time GRAMMY® Award-winning singer-songwriter and her band will present her thrilling new vision of the landmark album, complete with powerful new arrangements and a series of special surprise guests. Tickets for “Angélique Kidjo’s Remain In Light” are on sale now via carnegiehall.org.
The Carnegie Hall world premiere of “Angélique Kidjo’s Remain In Light” will be followed by further performances at concert halls, theatres, and festivals around the globe, including Manchester, TN’s Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, slated for June 8th – 11th. Kidjo’s full-length reimagining of Remain In Light will be released at a later date to be announced. For updates, please see www.kidjo.com.
Released October 8th, 1980, Talking Heads’ Remain in Light was a revolution of pop music innovation, pushing sonic boundaries with sampled and looped grooves inspired by legendary Nigerian Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti. Songs like “Crosseyed and Painless”, “Once in a Lifetime,” and “Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On)” saw Talking Heads and producer Brian Eno experimented with African polyrhythms while simultaneously drawing lyrical inspiration from African academic literature. Certified gold by the RIAA and consistently ranked among the most important and influential albums of all time, Remain In Light remains an eternal milestone, its brave vision and extraordinary power still as daring and innovative as ever before.
“The first time I came to New York to sing,” Kidjo says, “at SOBs on October 2nd 1992, David Byrne came to the show – the first American artist to do so – and we met afterwards. Not long before, Talking Heads had recorded an album with some of my African musician friends in Paris. I discovered their music at that time and fell in love with Remain In Light. Later on, I learned the album was influenced by John Miller Chernoff’s book, African Rhythm and African Sensibility. Talking Heads and Brian Eno understood the magical power of African music but instead of trying to clone it, they created their own style based on the hypnotic rhythm patterns of Fela’s Afrobeat. The cryptic lyrics also resonated with me. Somehow I felt I was hearing, in a strange way, social commentaries on the state of my continent.
“Many years later when I moved to New York, I would have the chance to cross paths and sing with David Byrne as well as work with the late Bernie Worrell, who collaborated with Talking Heads on their amazing Stop Making Sense concert. I have always loved recreating songs that have influenced me, like Gershwin’s ‘Summertime’ or Ravel’s ‘Bolero.’ As Remain In Light was influenced by the music of my continent, I want to pay back the homage and create my own African take on Talking Heads songs. We all know that rock music came from the blues and thus from Africa. Now is the time to bring rock back to Africa, connect our minds and bring all our sounds to a new level of sharing and understanding.”