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Neneh Cherry To Narrate Africa Music Doc

The Swedish singer-songwriter and rapper will lend her dulcit tones to "Fonko", a documentary about emerging club music styles from the continent.

Youssou Ndour Speaks - H 2012
Amy Sussman/Getty Images
Youssou N'Dour

LONDON -- Swedish singer-songwriter and rapper Neneh Cherry has signed to narrate the music documentary Fonko about music revolutions that have come from Africa.

Switzerland based worldwide distributor and executive producer First Hand Films is selling the documentary which comes as one 90 minute film or a six or three part series.

The documentary explores the possibility that a fresh Africa-led musical revolution is about to arrive from the continent.

Kuduro, Coupe-Decale and Ndombolo are club music styles based on traditional rhythms, fast becoming expressions for an entire generation.

The doc features renowned stars such as Youssou N’Dour, 2face Idibia and Nneka and will look at the emerging music scene in Africa.

"I’ve always had a very strong relation to the continent and the diaspora.  African related music has for decades influenced what we now call modern music, without any credit given. It just so happens that today’s young generation of musicians are ready to take on the world, and claim that credit," said Cherry.

Fonko is produced by Tobias Janson and directed by Goran Olsson (Concerning Violence), Daniel Jadama and Lars Loven at Swedish-based Story AB, and executive produced by Swiss-based First Hand Films (who also handle worldwide sales).  Germany’s WDR joins Sweden’s SVT as co-producers.

SBS has also bought Fonko the series.

Cherry, best known for international hit Buffalo Stance and Manchild is currently in the middle of her own album rollout with Blank Project.

"Since we unveiled Fonko to buyers at last week’s MIPTV market, we have had huge interest in the documentary, during which time we announced a co-production deal on the feature-length version with Germany’s WDR.  Having such a high-profile music legend as Neneh sign-up as narrator is very exciting, and is adding to the buzz this program is already creating," said First Hand Films CEO Esther van Messel.