There's no shortage of African artists doing well with booty-shaking music, even if the content of much of this music doesn't wander far from the usual clichés.
And there are some so intent on delivering a message that they forget about making good music.
But there aren't nearly enough like the Nigerian singer-songwriter Nneka, a true original, and as such, unpredictable, or predictable only in the sense that you know whatever she sings is going to be rooted in deep conviction of the need to examine and question many of the issues that affect the lives of Africans today, but whose convictions are balanced by a confidence in her ability to find in herself the music to transmit her thoughts, ideas and questions without losing what it is we go to music for in the first place. Performing, she comes up to the mic and roots you to the spot with something raw and straight from the heart, and she does this every time. We've said it before and we'll say it again: long after we've stopped dancing to a lot of today's hits, and forgotten who made them, we'll still be listening to Nneka, and wondering what her next song and album will be like.
Nneka toured East Africa in February, and while in Kigali, Rwanda, had a series of conversations with Illume creative studios. Nneka talks as she sings, candidly and sincerely, so you get to know a bit more about the person behind the music, her state of mind, and why she felt it was important as an artist to move back to Nigeria from Europe.
The Illume sessions highlight artists and personalities who contribute to positive changes in Africa.
Nneka's latest album Soul Is Heavy is out on Decon Records