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American singer Mumu Fresh talks musical childhood and Sole DXB gig

DUBAI: Maimouna Youssef, more popularly known by her stage name Mumu Fresh, is a Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter, rapper and activist looking to make a difference in the world with her music. And on Dec. 11, the American musician will take to the stage on the closing day of Sole DXB, the popular Dubai street culture and music festival, returning after a two-year hiatus.

“Oftentimes, people who come to my shows say that they experience a full range of emotions. They feel the joy, they feel hyped up. Sometimes they feel emotional, they cry and then they dance. So yeah, you can expect to have a full range of emotions and feel renewed and restored after,” said Youssef about her upcoming show.

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Mumu Fresh develops a new Best song for social change award at the Grammys

Grammys Add New Awards: Songwriter of the Year, Song for Social Change, More

The Recording Academy has announced several new awards and rule changes for the Grammy Awards, including Songwriter of the Year (Non-Classical), along with Best Score Soundtrack for Video Games and Other Interactive Media, and a Special Merit Award for Best Song for Social Change. Other amendments include changes to the Grammys entry and voting processes — including a rule that ups the minimum new content for album eligibility from 50% to 75%. All updates go into effect immediately for the 65th annual Grammy Awards, taking place in 2023.

The specifics of the rule changes are expected to be posted on later in the day, but sources tell Variety that the Songwriter category is limited to non-performing and non-producing songwriters, i.e. those who are credited solely as a writer or co-writer.



Although the Songwriter of the Year award is long overdue, other changes reflect a new and faster responsiveness from the Academy to calls for change from the music community. The increase in percentage of new content for album eligibility is likely in response to a recent trend of albums squeezing out another year of eligibility with “bonus editions” that tacked on live or B-side-level material in order to push the release up to 50% new content.

“We’re so excited to honor these diverse communities of music creators through the newly established awards and amendments, and to continue cultivating an environment that inspires change, progress and collaboration,” said Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. “The Academy’s top priority is to effectively represent the music people that we serve, and each year, that entails listening to our members and ensuring our rules and guidelines reflect our ever-evolving industry.” Look for Variety’s interview with Mason about the changes, publishing later today.

Per the announcement, new categories include:

Songwriter of the Year, Non-Classical
Recognizes the written excellence, profession and art of songwriting honoring the most prolific non-performing and non-producing songwriters for their body of new work released during an eligibility year.

Best Alternative Music Performance
A track and single category that recognizes the best recordings in an alternative performance by a solo artist, collaborating artists, established duo, or established group.

Best Americana Performance
A track and single Category that recognizes artistic excellence in an Americana performance by a solo artist, collaborating artists, established duo, or established group.

Best Score Soundtrack for Video Games and Other Interactive Media
Recognizes excellence in score soundtrack albums comprised predominately of original scores and created specifically for, or as a companion to, a current video game or other interactive media released within the qualification period.

Best Spoken Word Poetry Album
An album Category that recognizes excellence in spoken word albums specific to the performance of poetry with or without music.



Special Merit Award Addition:

Best Song for Social Change
This Special Merit Award will be determined by a blue ribbon committee and ratified by the Recording Academy Board of Trustees. Submissions must contain lyrical content that addresses a timely social issue and promotes understanding, peacebuilding and empathy.

Grammy Award Voting Procedural Updates:

Charging Fees for Entry Submissions
All Recording Academy members will receive five courtesy entries every year. For additional entries, members will pay $40 (Early Bird Fee); $75 (Standard Fee); or $125 (Final Deadline Fee) per additional entry. Registered media companies will pay a fee of $65 (Early Bird Fee); $95 (Standard Fee); or $125 (Final Deadline Fee) for per entry. Considerations will be made for artists/members experiencing financial hardships. Any member who would be burdened by the entry fees can request the fees be waived by reaching out to the Recording Academy Awards Department.

Album Eligibility*
To be eligible for Grammy Award consideration, an album must contain greater than 75% playing time of newly recorded (within five years of the release date), previously unreleased recordings*. The previous eligibility rule was 50%. (Note: Best Compilation Soundtrack, Best Historical Album, Best Immersive Audio Album, Best Recording Package, Best Special Package, and Best Album Notes accept albums of recordings that are not newly recorded.)

*Note: The updated album eligibility rule was approved in 2021 but is going into effect for the 65th annual Grammy Awards cycle.

Additional category amendments:

Classical Field: Creation of Craft Committees in Select Classical Categories
Three Categories within the Classical Field will now be determined by highly specialized Craft Committees: Producer of the Year (Classical), Best Engineered Album (Classical) and Best Contemporary Classical Composition.

Classical Field: Recognition of Composers and Librettists in Best Opera Recording and Best Classical Compendium Categories
Category definitions have been updated to award composers and librettists in addition to artists, producers and engineers.

New Age, Ambient or Chant Field: Renamed And Redefined Field and Category Name
The category formerly known as “Best New Age Album” has been renamed “Best New Age, Ambient Or Chant Album” and the Field name has also been updated to reflect that change.

Musical Theater Field: Recognition of Composers and Lyricists in Best Musical Theater Album Category
Category definition has been updated to award composers and lyricists of more than 50% of the score of a new recording.

Music for Visual Media Field (Includes Film, TV, Video Games, And Other Visual Media): Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media
Some language in the criteria for this Category which had been removed has now been restored to recognize principal artists and in-studio producers.

Production Field: Updated Definition of Best Remixed Recording Category
The newly amended definition of the Best Remixed Recording Category helps to reflect the remix craft as it currently stands in the industry: the creation of a new, full-track, unique performance created by a remixer from a previously released recording.

Spoken Word Field: Updated Category Name and Definition
The category formally known as Spoken Word Album has been renamed Best Audio Book, Narration & Storytelling Recording. This category recognizes excellence in spoken word albums (not including Spoken Word Poetry).

By Jam Aswad

The Roots Jam Presents Solo Sessions – Episode 1: Madison McFerrin & MuMu Fresh

In the spirit of the legendary Roots Jam Sessions, the band is opening up its platform to feature one song performances from music artists that are handpicked and curated by the band, artists that The Roots feel you should know. The foundation for the Roots Jam sessions are creativity and discovery and it is these same tenants that fueled the creation of Solo Sessions. In this premiere episode hosted by Black Thought we feature Madison McFerrin and MuMu Fresh. Produced by Ginny Suss

Madison McFerrin


MuMu Fresh (5:41)


Subscribe to The Roots’ Youtube channel:


So after the Black Girls Rock party is the after party 🎊 It’s my birthday and after we celebrate our #blackgirlmagicat the Kennedy Center, come on over to the line hotel to dance with me! And bring a 🎁 too 😂 I mean if you insist! I’m turning 21! 😂 come turn up with me.



Jazmine Sullivan, Maimouna Youssef (a.k.a. Mumu Fresh), MC Lyte, and more join BLACK GIRLS ROCK! founder Beverly Bond for the inaugural three-day music and empowerment festival launching on International Women’s Day on March 8


Jazmine Sullivan, Maimouna Youssef (a.k.a. Mumu Fresh), MC Lyte, and more join BLACK GIRLS ROCK! founder Beverly Bond for the inaugural three-day music and empowerment festival launching on International Women’s Day

(WASHINGTON)— The Kennedy Center, BONDVISON Media, and BLACK GIRLS ROCK!™ collaborate to co-produce the BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Festival™ (BGR!FEST™), an immersive live experience designed to celebrate the music and culture of Black  women artists, thought leaders, and creatives. The three-day event will take place on International Women’s Day weekend, March 8–10.

“It’s a tremendous honor for us to collaborate with BLACK GIRLS ROCK!™—it serves as such an important platform for centering and elevating the stories of Black women and we are thrilled to launch this transformative project and future endeavors with BGR founder and visionary Beverly Bond. This particular program deepens our commitment to celebrating Black women and their contributions and role in shaping American culture.”– Simone Eccleston, Director of Hip Hop Culture and Contemporary Music at the Kennedy Center.

Celebrity DJ, CEO, and founder of BLACK GIRLS ROCK!, Beverly Bond, established BGR! FEST™ as a complementary platform to the BLACK GIRLS ROCK! brand to further its mission to create spaces for black women-centered content. The inaugural BGR!FEST™ will feature a variety of events and performances by groundbreaking women. Highlights include: BGR!FEST  Welcome Party (free to the public) featuring DJ’s MC Lyte and Beverly Bond; panel discussions and book talk with Beverly Bond and featured guests from her book BLACK GIRLS ROCK!: Owning Our Magic. Rocking Our Truth; and a culminating ROCK! LIKE A GIRL concert showcasing groundbreaking women who stretch the boundaries of musicianship, lyricism, and artistic expression. Grammy®–nominated singer Jazmine Sullivan will be joined by D.C.’s own emcee, vocalist, and rising star, Maimouna Youssef a.k.a Mumu Fresh, as well as other surprise guests.

“I am thrilled to be launching the BGR!FEST with the prestigious Kennedy Center, a true pillar of artistic excellence, and to expand the BLACK GIRLS ROCK! brand to the nation’s capital, home to one of the most vibrant communities of color in the country. This relationship furthers our mission to build platforms that advance black women’s contributions to the world, and highlight how women of color use art as a tool to drive feminist thought, personal empowerment, and civic engagement.”-Beverly Bond



In the Spring of 1970, armed National Guard fired on protesters at Kent State in Ohio, killing four students. The event sent shockwaves across the country, spurring Neil Young to pen “Ohio,” the “greatest protest record” in American history.

Days later, forgotten in the shadow of Kent State, police killed two black students at Jackson State in Mississippi. The incident spurred The Isley Brothers to record “Ohio/Machine Gun.” Fusing Neil Young with Jimi Hendrix, The Isleys re-framed the narrative of the song around rising racial tensions, bridging the cultural gap between the two songs as a deliberate statement: music was one of the few forces that could bridge the racial divide and bring people together – cultural connective tissue for a divided world.

J.PERIOD is proud to present the next chapter in this historic saga: “SOLDIERS” featuring Dead Prez, Sa-Roc & Maimouna Youssef. Sampling elements of The Isley Brothers’ “Ohio/Machine Gun” over a hard-hitting track featuring Daniel Crawford on drums, “SOLDIERS” re-frames the narrative again for the generation of Ferguson, Flint, Oakland, New Orleans, Sanford, and Charlottesville.

Cover art by Ernesto Yerena.