Toto forever: Africa will play “for eternity” in the Namib Desert | Africa
Somewhere in the middle of the sand dunes of the oldest desert in the world sings a soft voice: “It will take a lot to get away from you.”
The voice belongs to the American group Toto, whose hit song Africa has been indefinitely attached to an unknown location in the Namib coastal desert thanks to Namibian-German artist Max Siedentopf.
The artist has set up an installation called Toto Forever consisting of six speakers attached to a blue MP3 player – whose only song is Africa set to play in an infinite loop – all set on white rectangular blocks set in the sand. . The installation, writes Siedentopf on its website, works with solar batteries “so that Toto continues to operate for eternity”.
The song was released in 1982, but it has been dubbed “the internet’s favorite song” with hundreds of thousands of fans across the web. The clip has 442 million views on YouTube, while Spotify said Africa doubled in 2018 from the previous year. A robot Twitter, which is dedicated to tweeting the song’s lyrics, has more than 50,000 followers. Weezer did a cover of the song last year, and Pitbull’s sampling of the song was featured on the Aquaman soundtrack. Even the scientists joked that it was the best song ever made.
Although Africa is named after the continent, the song has become a calming hymn for Americans that speaks of the ideals of Africa. Jeff Porcaro, the late song co-writer and Toto’s drummer, described the idea for the song as “a white boy is trying to write a song about Africa, but since he’s never been there, he can only say what he has seen. on television or remembers the past ”.
Siedentopf said he considered the tribute worth it because Toto “created a song that is understood and appreciated around the world,” he wrote to The Guardian. He considers any reaction to the installation, even negative, as a compliment.
“If no one hates him, no one will love him,” Siedentopf wrote. “I think having the worst sound installation is more interesting than a poor installation.”
The artist has included a rather unnecessary map on his website, which has the entire 1,200 mile Namib Desert circled in red that indicates the location of the installation. Siedentopf seems to have intentionally made it hard to find, both for fans and for the authorities.
“I’m not too worried about someone putting him in danger,” Siedentopf wrote. “Finding him may take a while. “
True fans might just have to listen to Toto’s voice to find the facility in the vast desert. Hurry up, boy, she’s waiting for you there.