The original artist and shadow artist are connected by events in 2019.
The original artist passed away this year. Although born in England, the artist moved to an African nation at a young age and absorbed the music and culture there. Concerts early in the career risked arrest or beatings by police because the bands were illegal at the time. The shows featured traditional dancing as well as music.
The shadow artist finished a farewell tour in mid 2019, retiring from performing and perhaps even recording. The first album, self-titled, was released in 1960 after a performance at the 1959 Newport Folk Festival was noticed by a record label.
The song dates back to the 1980s and is about a then-imprisoned leader who eventually became president when his nation changed to majority rule. The song became somewhat of an anthem for activists.