Soundtrack to My Weekend: Iyanya- Le Kwa Ukwu

This post should really be called “Soundtrack to My Life” because I’ve had this song on repeat for so long now. Growing up in my beloved Nigeria means that my heart belongs permanently to Afrobeat. Initially made world-famous in the 60s and 70s by the legendary Fela Kuti, Afrobeat has continued to slay folks up until 2014. I love how modern West African artists are blending the old Afrobeat style with the typically Congolese/Central African sound, commonly known as makossa/soukouss/coupe decale. Add to this blend some of the best elements of modern pop music and you’re left with something INCREDIBLE. Get your chops round the video and then we’ll talk.

*sips palm wine*

And we’re back! Here’s why we love this track:

1. The phrase “Le Kwa Ukwu” is Igbo for “Look at that backside.” Perfection. You’d better effing look at it.

2. I am drunk in love with Iyanya himself. I mean. Are you going to SIT THERE and tell me that you don’t see how his waist moves as if independent of his body? You don’t see that glint in his eye? And that smile which is scientifically proven to cause arrhythmia? Just take a moment to look at that face. Honed out of the finest milk chocolate by a merciful God. I am so unable right now.

3. That thumping bass line. Those frantic drums. The smattering of cheeky guitar, so familiar to me from Central African/Francophone music. You know when you’re dancing and suddenly a track comes on that makes you lose your goddamn mind? Iyanya’s hit song “Kukere” was one of the most popular Afrobeat hits of 2013. Every time the opening bars start playing, there are howls of “THAT’S MY SAWNG” as people sprint for the dancefloor. Like, people are constantly injured in the struggle for prime dancing space. We Africans take partying extremely seriously- I myself have been known to do some quick stretches in the corner when my jam starts playing.

4. The whole song is about a man appreciating the beauty of a woman. The way she moves. The way she makes him feel. The vibe is sexy, sassy and most importantly, FUN. It makes me giggle.

So now tell me the truth- were you able to sit still while watching this?

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5 thoughts on “Soundtrack to My Weekend: Iyanya- Le Kwa Ukwu

  1. Can only answer last question. The answer is “no.” Though this sounds more soukous than Afrobeat to my Western ears, which can’t help but ignorantly identify Afrobeat so strongly with Fela’s very particular sound. Where’s that waiter working to be driving that car?!?!

    1. LOL! Right? I can only assume he’s working for funsies and not for money. I agree with you re: more of a soukous flavour. Hope you enjoyed the track and subsequent involuntary dancing.

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