A Bunny Mack Retrospective: Sierra Leone’s Music Icon

July 15, 2015 § 2 Comments

"Let Me Love You" single cover

“Let Me Love You” single cover

Let’s just be honest: “Let Me Love You (My Sweetie)” by Bunny Mack has one of the funkiest bass lines ever laid down on a dance track. Composed by Bunny Mack (producer Akie Deen shares writing credits on the song as well), it was a continuation of a style of music he had developed with Deen, where he fused disco with calypso, African and funk grooves. “Let Me Love You (My Sweetie)” became one of the biggest African releases; it made the British pop charts in early 1980, reaching Number 76, and cracked the top 10 dance chart there, where it stayed for about 4 weeks. With its slamming bass line and infectious chorus, the melodic tune became a dance classic throughout the African diaspora, generating in the process a certain confusion about who sang it and which country it originated from. Play it for virtually anyone from the African diaspora, and the odds are that they have either partied to it, or played it themselves if they are DJs. When an African American friend asked me excitedly a few years back if I had heard “this new African song” as she put it, and sang “Let Me Love You,” I had to patiently inform her it’s old, but it’s a classic, and that’s why it seems new.

Bunny Mack with Akie Deen (Photo credit:Sewa News)

Bunny Mack with Sierra Leonean music producer Akie Deen

It has been a few decades now, but I do remember well when Bunny Mack was interviewed by a radio show host back in either late ’79 or early ’80s Sierra Leone. This was fascinating to me because I had never really considered Sierra Leone music in terms of solo artists. We had a bunch of semi-successful bands with decent hits, like Afro National, Sabanoh 75 and Supercombo, and each had solid musicians that were very talented in their own right. But the last really « Read the rest of this entry »

Bunny Mack Interview: “No Qualms” about Wale’s Sample of his Classic Song

November 29, 2010 § 2 Comments


Bunny Mack LP Cover

Yes, yes, it’s been several months since DC hip hop artist Wale released “My Sweetie” as an iTunes bonus track on his album “Attention Deficit.” The song is a celebration of sorts of his Nigerian heritage, as his lyrics are rife with references to African parties (“…make my jollof with lots of peppeh…”) and culture (“…when I meet your Mom I’m a still dobaleh…” (bow down) So you can kinda get it: “My Sweetie,” produced by the Apple Juice Kid, features a heavy sample of Sierra Leone music great Bunny Mack‘s 1979 classic “Let Me Love You.” That song became a dance floor smash worldwide, and the extended 12″ vinyl record can still command a hefty asking price. And, of course, it still packs the jams. So it was a pretty smart choice for a sample. But what about Bunny Mack?  « Read the rest of this entry »

Interview: Gyptian Wants to Work with African Artists

October 13, 2010 § 3 Comments

 

Gyptian performing at Crossroads Nightclub

 

I promised to bring you snippets of Afrofusion TV’s interview with Gyptian… Voila! check it out below! It’s a fairly common “problem” with music artists. You record a song, and fans think someone else sang it. For African and West Indian artists, the cross-pollination in music styles and genres makes the occurrence more frequent, and even less surprising. So for Nigerian singer Tuface Idibia, his worldwide hit “African Queen” got attributed by many a fan to Jamaican reggae star Gyptian!

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