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Lior Phillips on 33 1/3's South African Popular Music, history, and political activism

Join Lior Phillips as she uncovers the rich tapestry of South African music history in her new book. Explore hidden narratives, iconic songs, and cross-cultural dynamics.

In a new conversation with Kyle Meredith, Lior Phillips delves into her newly released book, "South African Popular Music," a part of the esteemed "33 1/3 Series." The accomplished writer and podcast host, known for "This Must Be The Gig" on the Consequence Podcast network, takes listeners on a compelling journey through the intricate tapestry of South African music history.

Phillips shares her motivations behind writing the book and the story she aimed to convey. She highlights the significant role of the political landscape in shaping the trajectory of South African music and delves into the poignant history behind "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," unearthing the complex layers that have often remained hidden beneath the surface. Phillips candidly shares her thoughts on the term "world music," and her nuanced perspective on its implications within the global music scene.

The conversation extends to the era of Paul Simon's "Graceland," exploring the intricacies of this controversial period in music history. The dialogue also touches on the symbiotic relationship between Angelique Kidjo and Talking Heads, revealing the fascinating dynamics of cross-cultural artistic exchange.

Phillips also discusses Disney's evolving approach to representation and cultural appreciation, spotlighting the impact of releases like "Black Panther" and the live-action "Lion King." Throughout the conversation, Phillips's passion for uncovering the hidden narratives within music history shines through, inviting listeners to delve deeper into the rich and diverse musical landscape of South Africa.

Kyle is the WFPK Music Director. Email Kyle at kmeredith@lpm.org