Remain in Light

Angelique Kidjo

On May 5th I was lucky enough see “Angelique Kidjo and Friends: Remain in Light” at Carnegie Hall.

The show was her Africanized take on the Talking Heads album Remain in Light.

I’d been relatively unfamiliar with Kidjo and hadn’t listened much to The Talking Heads/ David Byrne since their moment back in the day. But from the minute Kidjo took the stage, that all changed. It was unequivocally clear: she’s one of the greatest artists of our time.

Her voice and the story she had to tell knocked me out of my seat.

She’s a force. At one point, she talked about growing up in communist Benin in the 1980s, and how to her, The Talking Heads represented the sound of freedom.

In search of freedom, the music of David Byrne and Co. inspired her to leave her home. Doing so, she revealed, was the hardest thing she’d ever done.

I think about her journey - from Africa, to France, and eventually to the US, to this night, to this stage, to this most famous concert hall in the world.

I’m sure it wasn’t an easy path. But she had dreams to remember. 

As artists, we all face discouraging obstacles. Remembering our dreams in spite of it all is a daily challenge.

Our chosen paths can take their toll.

But, thankfully, there are artists like Angelique Kidjo to inspire us to “Remain in Light”.