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Sweet sounds from Angola

by Bernard O'Shea

Just as singers with African-Francophone backgrounds such as Stromae and Maître Gims are dominating the charts in France, Belgium, Switzerland and other countries in Europe, so too are those from the former Portuguese colonies in Africa. Angolan-born singer Anselmo Ralph is doing well once again in Portugal with Não Me Toca (Don’t Touch Me). It’s a pleasant song, and as a bonus on this videoclip, in the intro you get to hear what a little domestic drama sounds like in Portuguese. But it all ends happily for the boy as he storms off and gets to play with some toys.

You will find two attempts at the translation of the lyrics into English, German and Russian here, as well as German and Russian, but let me warn you the first English translation is poor in parts. Look at this …

I told you I loved you and you clueless
I was called to dance your ass song
But I did not mind and devoted heart.

…. so click on translation number 2 instead. But either way you’ll get the gist.

Ampersands in music credits are catching on in Portugal as much as they are in Brazil. Here, a singer with a very Portuguese name, Nelson Freitas, but who was born in the Netherlands (he’s actually of Cape Verdean origin) has linked up with an Angolan singer by the name of C4 Pedro. Their song Bo Tem Mel is an intriguing mix of English, Portuguese and Creole, and who knows, maybe some other languages are thrown in too.

C4Pedro is best known for his song Casamento (Wedding). Its sweet, seductively smooth sounds (note the alliteration) warrant inclusion. If you listen to only one of my selections, make it this one!

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