‘Talking Drum’ is a limited podcast series brought to you by Zara Julius & KONJO, which explores the aesthetic and affective links in Africa’s musical echo-chamber (Chude-Sokei, 2008), through conversations with cultural producers, DJs, researchers and artists from various geographies across the African continent and the African diaspora. Responding to a time of limited global mobility, the project re-focuses KONJO’s mission as an independent Pan-African creative agency invested in curating live music experience, and moves to explore the archives, and cultural contexts from which various African folk musical traditions emerge, evolve and continue to find vitality. 

Listen below, or subscribe on Spotify or Apple Podcasts


Trailer  |  Talking Drum  |


Episode 1  |  Adam Cooper  |  Trinidad & Tobago  | 

In this episode we chat with Adam Cooper (aka Foreigner) about some of the core liberation values of carnival culture in Trinidad & Tobago, the spirit of Black rebellion, and the many sounds and influences of Soca music in the Caribbean. 

This episode was co-produced by Zara Julius & Adam Cooper.

Podcast music by BULI

Show notes: 


Canboulay Riots

Kaapse Klopse

KFC Emancipation Day advert 

C. L. R James – The Black Jacobins

Maurice Bishop

Paramin Blue Devils


  1. Laventille Rhythm Section – Two Rhythms
  2. Bunji Garlin – Heart of the People
  3. Brother Marvin – Jahaji Bhai
  4. Bunji Garlin – All House Is Road (8 Bit Riddim)
  5. Temptress & Deno Outta Range Mason – Ah Doh Have (Dennis Riddim)
  6. Problem Child – Nasty Up (Saint Pepsi Refix) – (Darkside Riddim)
  7. Rootsman – Soca In De Palace 



Episode 2  |  Isnay Rodríguez Agramonte / DJ Jigüe  |  Cuba  | 


In this episode we chat with Cuban producer Isnay Rodríguez Agramonte (aka DJ Jigüe) about the dynamic musical relationship between Cuba and the African continent, Cuban medical internationalism and Tropical Afro-Futurism. 

This episode was co-produced by Zara Julius & Isnay Rodríguez

English-Spanish translation by Natalie Howard.

Voiceovers by Beatrice Pignatelli (Spanish episode) and Julio Sanclemente (English episode) 

Podcast music by BULI

Show notes:

HAPE Collective

Salsa in Senegal

Manteca – Dizzy Gillespie

Yoruba religion

Batá drums 


Angélique Kidjo

Cuban medical internationalism


  1. Descarga Cubana – Cachao 
  2. Juana 1600 – Irakere
  3. Asoyin – Sintesis
  4. Canto para elegua y chango – Orishas
  5. BAKOSO – Ozkaro Dlg2, Kamerum Órun Kingdom (Guámpara Music)
  6. Dj Jigüe feat. ALVA – Dengele (Makuta Club)


Episode 3  |  Brenda Sisane  |  South Africa  | 

In this episode we chat with renowned South African radio host and jazz tastemaker, Brenda Sisane, about the unbounded nature of South African jazz, the role of liberation politics in SA jazz as well as the importance of archiving. 

“All cultural explorers…start from specific roots which colour their vision and define the allegiances of the work of art they produce” – Keorapetse Kgositsile

This episode was produced by Zara Julius

Podcast music by BULI

Show notes: 

The Art of Sunday w/ Brenda Sisane

Zara Julius on The Art of Sunday w/ Brenda Sisane

Radio Bop

Fees Must Fall

The Sonic Color Line – Jennifer Stoever


Princess Magogo

Sazi Dlamini

Caiphus Semenya

Johnny Dyani


  1. Letta Mbulu – Pula Yetla
  2. Hugh Masekela – The Boys are Doin’ It
  3. Asher Gamedze – Interregnum 
  4. Busi Mhlongo & Max Lasser – Bhoyi
  5. Zim Ngqawana – Intlomble Variations: Ebhofolo (This Madness) 
  6. Moses Molelekwa – Itumeleng


Episode 4  |  Oualid Khelifi  |  Algeria  | 

In this episode we chat with Oualid Khelifi, an Algerian born cultural producer and communications strategist at Anzul about his deeply personal and Pan African relationship with Algeria’s musics through the lens of diaspora-being-as-kidnapping, and the ways in which the nation state necessitates particular types of sonic responses in North Africa, within both post-civil war Algeria and its vast diaspora. In this episode Oualid explores notions of masculinity and sentimentality, Arabisation vs Arabic culture in a deeply personal offering.

This episode was co-produced by Zara Julius & Oualid Khelifi.

Podcast music by BULI

Show notes:

Pan African Cultural Festival, Algiers 1969  


Rai music  


Algerian civil war



Gnawa reggae

Sufi music

Dhafer Youssef


  1. Athmane Bali – Kaf None
  2. Cheb Hasni – Mettebkich Hada Mekhtoubi (Dont Cry This My Destiny)
  3. Cheb Mami – Trab
  4. El Foukr R’Assembly – Haggard Wonderer
  5. Houria Aichi & L’Hijaz’Car – Invocation
  6. Tazanghareht – Tazrouk et Abelessa (field recording)
  7. Imzad – Track 1 (field recording)
  8. Tindé – Atalen (field recording)
  9. Tindé – Groupe Ihrire (field recording)


Episode 5  |  Alsarah  |  Sudan  | 

In this episode we’re joined by Sudanese musician and ethnomusicologist, Alsarah — lead vocalist of Alsarah & the Nubatones. We speak about the weaponisation of music as propaganda by a repressive state, both historically and in the wake of Sudan’s 2018/2019 revolution. We also chat through the failure of the nation state, orientalism as it relates to East & North Africa, as well as the legacies of not just European colonialism, but also that of the Turk and so-called Arab empire in the region.

Special thanks to Tamador Sheikh Aldeen for her guest appearance in this episode.

This episode was co-produced by Zara Julius & Alsarah

Podcast music by BULI

Show notes:

Sudan 2018/2019 Uprising info packet courtesy of Ladin


1969 Sudanese coup d’état

Sudan Ethiopia conflict in Tigray 2021 


Ostinato Records

Mohammed Wardi 

Indirect Rule, Civil Society, & Ethnicity: The African Dilemma – Mahmood Mamdani

Beats of the Antonov – film by Hajooj Kuka

Second Sudanese Civil War

Sudanese artists arrested in Khartoum 2020


  1. Various Artists – The Military’s Opera (video below)
  2. Khogali Osman – أسمعنا مرة / Hear us once
  3. Anonymous – تسقط بس اغنية راب  / Just Fall (rap w/ Al-Bashir’s voice)
  4. Nancy Ajaj – Milad
  5. Alsammany Hajo – قوة البشير قوة فاسدة ميكس / Al-Bashir Corrupt Force Mix
  6. Mohammed Wardi – يا شعبا لهبت ثوريتك / O People, Your Revolution Has Ignited
  7. Mohammed Wardi – وردي وفي حكاياتنا مايو (song for Neimary)
  8. Alsarah & the Nubatones – من انا / Mena Ana
  9. Nada Algalaa – ندى القلعة | الجيش كرب  / Army is Anguish


Episode 6  |  LIVE!  |  Tumi Mogorosi & Side Bar  | 

This episode is a recording of a live taping event that took place under the autumn trees in the Cradle of Humankind in front of an intimate live audience. KONJO invited jazz drummer and writer, Tumi Mogorosi to interpret a selection of songs from the Talking Drum podcast series and perform them with an ensemble of his choosing. This episode is an experiment with trans-geographic collaboration in a moment of limited physical mobility. For many in the audience, this was the first time enjoying live music after a series of lockdown’s in South Africa due to the COVID-19 pandemic: a moment between the 2nd and 3rd waves.

Tumi’s work is concerned with the Black Sonic as a dislocated episteme, which identifies the aesthetic as a limitation. It is from this position that this episode (re)considers the “jazz standard” and translation/interpretation as it relates to questions of fugitivity and freedom. You can buy Tumi’s book, DeAesthetic: Writing with and from the Black Sonic here

This episode was co-produced by Zara Julius & Tumi Mogorosi.

Sound engineer: Garrick Van Der Tuin

Podcast music by BULI

Special thanks: FARMHOUSE @ 58

Show notes: 

Frank B. Wilderson III


DeAesthetic: Writing with and from the Black Sonic – Tumi Mogorosi book launch reading (The Commune)

LINE UP – Side Bar (formerly ‘The Ancestors’):

Tumi Mogorosi – drums

Siyabonga Mthembu – vocals

Gontse Makhene – percussion

Ariel Zamonsky – bass

Mthunzi Mvubu – alto saxaphone

This project is supported by a Breathing Space grant from Pro Helvetia Johannesburg.