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Songwriter Kenny Young mixes African sounds and pop

WAMC's Ian Pickus speaks with songwriter and producer Kenny Young (“Under the Boardwalk”), who heads a climate change effort called Artists Project Earth whose latest album, Rhythms Del Mundo: Africa, is now out. The project gets local artists to reinterpret American pop songs.

When you pop in the CD Rhythms Del Mundo: Africa  you can get lost in the continent’s unique sounds for minutes before realizing that you already know the songs.

That’s because they are reinterpretations of popular songs by artists like Eminem, Beyonce, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and R.E.M., to name a few, part of an ongoing project spearheaded by Kenny Young of Artists Project Earth, founded after the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004 to raise money and awareness to combat climate change.

Young’s work is already well-known to music fans. He wrote the song “Under the Boardwalk” among many other chart-toppers. Recordings for this project took place across Africa with local musicians.

Rhythms Del Mundo: Africa is out now from The End Records.

A lifelong resident of the Capital Region, Ian joined WAMC in late 2008 and became news director in 2013. He began working on Morning Edition and has produced The Capitol Connection, Congressional Corner, and several other WAMC programs. Ian can also be heard as the host of the WAMC News Podcast and on The Roundtable and various newscasts. Ian holds a BA in English and journalism and an MA in English, both from the University at Albany, where he has taught journalism since 2013.
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