Remain in Light
One of Time magazine’s
“100 Most Influential People of 2021”
“To be able to witness Angélique Kidjo in her element is a gift. When we were collaborating…it felt both magical and natural—like we were sisters in the studio. Her ability to blend cultures, creating a soulful sound that is out of this world, makes working with her and listening to her so special.
“It doesn’t matter where you are—you hear her, and you become alive. She electrifies people…. The grace she exudes toward her fellow creators, and to humankind, is a reflection of her vibrancy, kindness, and generosity. Angélique is as real as they come.”
For one of her latest recording projects, global pop star and four-time Grammy Award winner Angélique Kidjo partnered with star producer Jeff Bhasker (Rihanna, Kanye West, Drake, Jay-Z) to revisit, reimagine, and repatriate the Talking Heads’ landmark 1980 album Remain in Light.
Kidjo, Cal Performances’ artist-in-residence for the 2021–22 season, is an omnivorous artist with a gift for assimilating a wide range of music into a sound that is completely her own, always infused with her powerfully positive message. Here, she connects with the album’s original Afropop influences and filters its new-wave sensibility through her own musical interests—which span the African continent—mining the songs for topics that resonate with her today and adding her own lyrics in languages from her home country of Benin. Kidjo’s singing is euphoric, soaring over layers of backing vocals, explosive percussion, and driving horn orchestrations to transform classic songs such as “Crosseyed and Painless,” “Once in a Lifetime,” and “Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On).”
“Remain in Light feels like an album that Kidjo was born to sing; never has she sounded so convincing, so powerful” (Songlines).