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First Watch: Sinkane, 'U'Huh'

I've been hooked by "U'Huh," the new song from Sinkane. The phrase that feels so good is "kulu shi tamaam," meaning "everything is great!" in Arabic. Sinkane, a.k.a. Ahmed Gallab, wrote this to me about the song: "Times are tough, struggles have always existed in our lives, but hope, love and the power of positivity help us stay alive. It is what inspires me to wake up in the morning, make music, and, ultimately, connect with people."

The video for "U'Huh" flips between the celebratory and the turbulent. Nick Bentgen, the director of an earlier Sinkane video, wrote to us, "I was excited to party and dance with the whole Sinkane band this time around. The timeless nature of the song felt like a period piece was appropriate visual accompaniment. The newsreels on TV depict social unrest in Detroit and Newark in 1967." Music — both back then and now — has always been a salve and a way to bond a community together. Judging from this song, Sinkane's new album Life & Livin' Itmay just be the thing many of us need.

Ahmed Gallab grew up in London and has lived in Sudan and in Ohio. His music and live performances reflect a universal attitude filled with heart and soul, the way Bob Marley's or Parliament Funkadelic's did. There's a party in the music, but a deeper message to tell. "To my sisters who ache, my brothers losing strength: We don't need to be saved. We'll make our own way. Kulu shi tamaam! As long as we try we're all going to be all right! Big love from the Sinkane family."

Life & Livin' Itcomes out Feb. 10, 2017 on City Slang.

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In 1988, a determined Bob Boilen started showing up on NPR's doorstep every day, looking for a way to contribute his skills in music and broadcasting to the network. His persistence paid off, and within a few weeks he was hired, on a temporary basis, to work for All Things Considered. Less than a year later, Boilen was directing the show and continued to do so for the next 18 years.