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3 questions to singer-songwriter Angélique Kidjo

16 May 2023
Angélique Kidjo
Angélique Kidjo

Beninese singer and songwriter Angélique Kidjo is a global star with no less than thirteen albums behind her. Throughout her outstanding career, the five-time Grammy Award winning artist has received prestigious awards, such as the 2015 Crystal Award given by the World Economic Forum, the 2016 Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience Award, and more recently the prestigious Polar Music Prize, which she will officially be awarded on 23 May 2023, in Stockholm. Angélique Kidjo answered our 3 questions.

Q: You are this year's laureate of the Polar Music Prize, alongside Chris Blackwell and Arvo Pärt. It is arguably music's most prestigious honour. What does this recognition represent for you? What impact does it have on your global work as an artist? 

A: Every time I receive an award, I feel the same sense of responsibility. I am grateful that my peers have been following my work and I want to make sure I keep on experimenting new avenues, new directions that haven’t been explored, building bridges between cultures and different genres of music!

You are also a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF. What made you decide to take on this very important role, which you have had for the past 20 years?

One day 20 years ago, I received a phone call from UNICEF and I wasn’t sure what the exact role was. But I realized my fame in Africa as an African artist could help communicate important messages and move things. I travelled the continent and discovered something else: I’m also learning a lot from all the people I meet - their culture, resilience and energy is inspiring.

In the past 2 years, you have released several albums, including ‘Mother Nature’ and ‘Queen Of Sheba’ with Ibrahim Maalouf. What are you working on now?

Since ‘Mother Nature’ and ‘Queen of Sheba’ I’m taking my time to work on a new album and I can’t say right now what it’s going to be. But I am actually writing new material right now.

Music Exchange offer

The concert Angélique Kidjo gave at WOMAD on 27 July 2022 was offered by the BBC and is available in MUS under WM/2023/02/02/01.

Relevant links and documents


Monica Schütz

Community Manager