Track of the Day: ‘Heavy’ by Les Amazones d’Afrique

Les Amazones d'Afrique continue to tackle the issues facing women in Africa and across the world, inspiring others to join the cause with their new single 'Heavy', which introduces some of the group's newest members: Niariu, Boy Fall and Jon Grace.

Niariu, whose real name is Tiguidanké Diallo, has been performing with Les Amazones d’Afrique this summer and will also feature on the band’s next album. Douranne (Boy) Fall and Magueye Diouk (Jon Grace) are the vocalists in Nyokō Bokbaë: a Parisian group formed by Cameroonian producer Bamao Yendé. As children of the diaspora, they draw their inspiration from the African music repertoire, adding elements of English culture and RnB. They fiercely represent the Paris of today: unique, open and exciting, and have joined Les Amazones d’Afrique in support of their cause.

‘Heavy’ is a song about the women who have had the courage to build their own empire, their own life, their own business and the strength to work hard to earn more money than their husband or men in general. More specifically, this song is a tribute to one of the singer’s grandmothers, who he upholds as a role model for younger generations.

 
Les Amazones d'Afrique at Couleur Café Festival, Brussels in June 2019.

“My grandmother came to Paris from Senegal and set up a business to support her family, leaving behind her husband,” Jon Grace explains. “She is the perfect example of an ‘Amazone’ —a woman from Africa who succeeded despite having been undermined and under-valued throughout her life.”

“She took a lot of criticism for challenging the social norms. People had trouble understanding that a woman could be independent, go to work and earn money for her family. She brought my mother and all of her nieces with her and settled in Paris, where she established her own hair salon. She created her own empire.”

The official video for 'Heavy' captures the band on their 2019 summer festival tour.

“My grandmother had very little support from men, and also women who have been taught to shame other women. The women in her own family at least backed her up, and eventually she was able to rely on the support of women from all over Senegal. That was when she saw that there was a ‘resistance’ and it gave her strength to carry on. This strength and determination is something she has instilled in me, and I am very proud of her.”

“Today she is widely recognised in Senegal as a woman who succeeded in emancipating herself, and setting up her own business. In the song ‘Heavy’, we pay homage to my grandmother, and others like her who have worked hard for the cause of women.”

Les Amazones d’Afrique perform on Friday 19 July at Blue Dot Festival in Cheshire, and will appear at festivals across Europe throughout the summer.

Purchase/Stream ‘Heavy’

Featured release

  • Heavy

    Les Amazones d’Afrique

    Released 12 July 2019

    ‘Heavy’ is a song about the women who have had the courage to build their own empire, their own life, their own business and the strength to work hard to earn more money than their husband or men in general.

By Online Editor

Main image: Niariu, Boy Fall and Jon Grace. Photo credit: Karen Paulina Biswell.

Published on Fri, 12 July 19

Further reading

Les Amazones d’Afrique announce new album ‘Amazones Power’

The long-awaited follow up to their 2017 critically-acclaimed debut is out on 24 January 2020.

Bokanté receives Grammy nomination for What Heat

Bokanté's collaboration with Metropole Orkest & Jules Buckley has earned them a Grammy nomination.

9Bach on keeping the Welsh folk music alive, fresh and evolving

9Bach reflect on 10 years as a band, and adapting Welsh folk music on their debut album.

9Bach choose 5 of their favourite records on vinyl

9Bach's Anian is Vinyl of the Month for November as part of the Real World Vinyl Club.