As a follow-up from her 2019 Grammy Award-winning album Celia, Angelique Kidjo’s highly collaborative Mother Nature is the Beninese singer’s reckoning with both climate change and her own legacy.
“When I became pregnant, it was obvious to ask myself the question: What kind of world are we going to leave to our children and beyond?” she tells Apple Music. “And it became more and more relevant as I started seeing the proof of climate change—let me start writing a love letter to Mother Earth, Mother Nature. This album is also about having a conversation with the younger generation—the transmission of culture as our grandparents have done.”
She says the album has been long overdue—“I’ve had this album in me somehow since 1993,” she says—but with the pandemic lockdown, “I had the luxury of time to spread my wings and to do the music the way I wanted, without stressing.” Collaborating with younger artists and multiple producers, Kidjo created a body of work that’s cohesive and upbeat, even though the subject matter is sometimes grave—the result of giving her collaborators freedom and space to be themselves.
“You don’t invite somebody to have dinner with you to tell them, ‘You can’t do this. You can’t eat that now.’ You offer the food, and they do what they want to do with it.” Here, Kidjo reveals the inspiration behind each track from Mother Nature.
1. Angelique Kidjo – Choose Love ft. Shungudzo
2. Angelique Kidjo – Dignity ft. Yemi Alade
3. Angelique Kidjo – Africa, One Of A Kind ft. Mr Eazi & Salif Keita
4. Angelique Kidjo – Mother Nature
5. Angelique Kidjo – Do Yourself ft. Burna Boy
6. Angelique Kidjo – Meant For Me ft. Shungudzo
7. Angelique Kidjo – Omon Oba ft. Zeynab & Lionel Loueke
8. Angelique Kidjo – Free & Equal ft. Sampa the Great
9. Angelique Kidjo – Fired Up ft. Blue-Lab Beats & Ghetto Boy
10. Angelique Kidjo – Take It Or Leave It ft. Earthgang
11. Angelique Kidjo – Mycelium ft. M
12. Angelique Kidjo – One Africa (Independance Cha-Cha)
13. Angelique Kidjo – Flying High