Jan 25, 2017
Founded in Minneapolis during the spring of 2012, BMB came together when two guitar players discovered each other's almost identical craigslist ads aimed at starting a funk band influenced by among other things, the sounds of Fela Kuti, K Frimpong, and King Sunny Ade.
Over the next 3 years the band would relentlessly rehearse, fine tune, and develop their deeply powerful sound. What started as a funk band playing obscure covers eventually blossomed into a creative collective of musicians writing, arranging, and performing original music that builds on the sound of Nigerian Afrobeat by tastefully blending it with other styles. As time went on, the band cycled through players and material before arriving at what would become the permanent lineup and their signature sound.
In 2013 Secret Stash Records released BMB’s debut single to critical acclaim within the collector and DJ communities. The bible of all things funky, Wax Poetics, declared the record to be “Heavy Nigerian Madness.” Flea Market Funk raved “This is some authentic music right here people, recorded in the United States. Inspired by the likes of The Funkees, The Black President, and Moussa Doumbia as much as James Brown and The Meters, this Twin Cities dozen (and sometimes more) is shoveling out their musical path with their unique sounds.” The entire pressing quickly sold out as Secret Stash shipped copies around the globe while BMB slang copies from the stage after shows throughout the Midwest.
Two years later, after almost non-stop gigging and rehearsing, BMB finally tracked their debut album at Secret Stash’s new recording studio in the Loring Park neighborhood of Minneapolis. Cut live in one room over the course of 3 days, the recordings jump out of the speakers with an energy reminiscent of the band’s celebrated live shows. About the process, guitarist Hans Kruger says, “This music needs to be recorded live. Everytime we play there are these little connections that are being made between a couple of the musicians. The bass and drums might lock into something that the horn players don’t consciously know about. But while that’s happening, the horn players might find their way to some new interpretation of their parts. You would lose some of that if you went in and tracked everything one at a time. There needs to be room for collective improvisation.” The incredible thing about recorded music is its ability to travel across time, space, and cultural boundaries. The story of Black Market Brass and their debut album, Cheat And Start A Fight, is a testament to that miraculous feat. Recorded in 2015 by the 12 piece instrumental band, it is heavily inspired by the sounds of West African popular and spiritual music from long ago.
Black Market Brass gives Afrobeat a prairie home
The 10-piece Black Market Brass has become an unlikely go-to summer party band in Minnesota.
Last weekend’s packed First Avenue main-room set and the hipster-thronged Red Stag Block Party in northeast Minneapolis were among their favorite shows so far. However, the most telling performance for the 10 members of Black Market Brass in their unusually busy summer actually might have been last month’s more milquetoast gig at Log Jam in Stillwater.
“Seeing a bunch of teenagers and other Stillwater people getting down to our kind of music was kind of mind-blowing,” guitarist Hans Kruger said, admitting it took the band a few songs to win the crowd over.
Continued baritone sax player Cole Pulice, “Some shows, the people don’t really know what to make of us at first. But they see us having a blast on stage, and I think that tells them we’re all in this together to have a good time.”
The Stillwater story hints at how an instrumental Afrobeat band somehow became a go-to favorite for the summer party scene in Minnesota — a group whose music is based around the psychedelic-sounding, rhythmically complex, relatively obscure jazz/funk/fusion sounds of late Nigerian revolutionary Fela Kuti and the rest of his Afrobeat music movement.
Among the other outdoor fests that Black Market Brass has played this year were the Roots, Rock & Deep Blues Festival, the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, Art-a-Whirl at Bauhaus and the Coup d’état Block Party. The band has one more next weekend, the Borough Block Party outside Borough restaurant in Minneapolis’ North Loop on Sunday (scheduled set time: 1 p.m.).
Quipped the group’s other guitarist, Mitch Sigurdson, “We just show up to every block party and ask if we’re playing.”
Also the guitarist in the popular soul-rock sextet Black Diet, Sigurdson posted a Craigslist ad three years ago that became the big bang for BMB, asking if any other Twin Cities musicians were interested in forming an Afrobeat-flavored band. “There were DJ nights and radios shows, but you couldn’t really go hear this stuff played live anywhere in town,” he recalled.
How a bunch of white, twenty- and thirty-something rock, jazz and soul musicians in Minnesota got into Afrobeat music in the first place is another surprise worth explaining.
Some of them discovered it through modern Afrobeat acts such as the Antibalas Orchestra and Budos Band. Some were simply vinyl collectors who fell in love with the ’70s-era worldbeat records reissued by Minneapolis label Secret Stash Records, which will also release Black Market Brass’ debut album next spring.
The most well-versed among them was probably percussionist David Tullis, an African studies major at Carleton College who traveled to Nigeria on a fellowship-type excursion to study drumming. He can go on long tangents about the music’s complex polyrhythms and other challenging elements.
“It’s hard for a lot of musicians to find their place in this music because there’s so much going on; everything is right there,” said Tullis, who is also the drummer in Black Diet.
Some of the first rehearsals for the bands were spent simply trying to work out musical charts from Kuti’s music for guideposts. “And then we still had to go through the long process of learning our own style and way of playing it,” Sigurdson remembered.
A true group effort
As scholarly as the band members can get about this music — “We really nerd out a lot in rehearsals,” Kruger admitted — they also make it clear they’re in BMB primarily because it’s fun music to play. Many of the songs in the band’s growing bin of original tunes, including “Snake Oil Man” and “Half a Cig,” follow the same repetitive groove for six minutes or more but pick up steam via the feisty, fiery horn parts.
Pulice, who also performs with vintage soul greats Sonny Knight & the Lakers, said Afrobeat “doesn’t follow a normal western music narrative. It’s not broken up into sections, or into solos, like jazz is.
“Good Afrobeat music is not about individual players. It’s about what we can do together, and finding that sort of magical, hypnotic zone as one unit.”
“Hypnotic” could perhaps be taken as code for the heavy marijuana use associated with Afrobeat and reggae music. The band doesn’t deny that there’s an herbal undercurrent to the music, but Tullis pointed out, “There are several people in the band who don’t touch the stuff, and they do just fine.
“Really, it’s about doing whatever you have to do to get in that uninhibited state where you freely dance to the music and just absorb it fully. Plenty of people can do that stone-cold sober.”
Let’s hope that was true of those teens in Stillwater.
Labels: Black Market Brass
Jan 23, 2017
Guanabana Afrobeat is a musical project formed in mid-2012 with the intention of merging the genre Afrobeat with Latin American rhythms.
Through the polyrhythmia, Guanabana tries to generate its own style, accompanied by melodies and harmonies that shoot particular sounds while taking the genre as a base.
Check out there EPs at soundcloud.com!
Labels: Guanabana Afrobeat Orquesta
Jan 21, 2017
Kárà-Kátà Afrobeat/Highlife, Afrobeat reggae Group music genre can be called world but we blend effortlessly original Afrobeat, Afrobeat Reggae, Soca, Calypso, Afrobeat gospel, Modern funk, Jazz, Blues, Salsa, Psychedelic rock & Soul. Our musical spice is exotic and inspiring. We celebrate and share the beauty of African/Canadian multiculturalism with dance, music, fashion through our live performances. Although the music is African Origin, but we are 90% of different backgrounds and origins and 10% African. We are truly the world beat.
The exciting new Afrobeat group here in Vancouver that goes by the name of Kara-Kata. Like traditional Afrobeat bands, we are composed of a wide range of talented musicians including several percussionists, a vibrant brass section, and guitars and keyboards. We also have a contingent of dancers who can fire up a crowd in seconds! Our shows over the past few months upstairs at The Afrika Shrine, Legion Hall on Commercial Drive have drawn strong and enthusiastic audiences and the word is definitely out that there is FINALLY a band here in Vancouver that can bring the music of Fela Kuti and the spirit of Africa to life on stage! Our music combines elements of funk, highlife, African rhythms, and jazz.
What Fela developed is now recognized as having been exceptionally unique. The sound rides on insistent Yoruba rhythms with funk-influenced organ riffs in the middle topped by repeated chants that link his music to that of traditional Nigeria. (Excerpt from BBC documentary from the 80s)
This is what is behind the spirit of Kara-Kata and what we try to project.
FORGING AHEAD WITH AN AFRICAN VISIONA big bonfire of a band by the name of Kara-Kata is setting Vancouver ablaze with its full-power renditions of classic West African Afrobeat tracks. Afrobeat music blends the genres of funk, jazz, highlife, psychedelic rock, juju, agidigbo and other traditional rhythms into a whirlwind of ecstatic sound. The band is jamming the dancefloor and getting hips swaying to a frenetic tribal pulse. Their recent performances on Commercial Drive in Vancouver have been generating tons of buzz. Once a month they transform the staid Legion Hall into the bedazzled Afrika Shrine where the vibe is festive and traditional Nigerian dishes are served to hungry fans, resulting in a robust community spirit.
Afrobeat music is the kind of thing that “creeps deep into you as you listen to it,” according to the band’s founder, Toyinirawo Kayo-Ajayi (Kayo). Before you know it, your body is already dancing way before your brain considers doing so. There is a certain spirituality in the music as well, based on traditional African rhythms that are not found in Western music. There’s more behind the sound than just “the jiving psychedelic feel” that is normally associated with it. There is a truly magical undertone to the beats and melodies that comprise these songs, a magic the audience definitely picks up on.
The Afrobeat sound originated from Yorubaland in Nigeria. Both Kayo and the godfather of Afrobeat, Fela Kuti, share the same Yoruba background. Growing up, they were both exposed to the same local traditional songs, chants and rhythms performed during celebrations and ceremonies. It is this rich musical history that many, if not all Afrobeat songs are based upon. Kayo’s memory seems to border on prodigious when he proclaims he can literally recall hundreds of traditional songs from his childhood. “There is now this vast library in my head to draw inspiration from,” he remarks.
Kara-Kata’s first self-titled EP released last year is worth listening to for its lively rhythmic tracks although it hardly reflects the remarkably speedy evolution and sophistication of the group’s current bombastic sound. The group has swelled in size to almost 20 members over the last few months. Whereas they were once playing primarily smaller intimate venues and festivals in the area, the venues and crowds are growing in size alongside the group as the outbreak of Afrobeat fever spreads throughout the city.
Kayo has managed to skillfully orchestrate this ‘big family’ and keep the performances incredibly tight without it degenerating into a chaos of noise: “This music is like a meditation, and that’s why we can have such a large group onstage, all of us on the same page, totally connected. It’s not difficult at all actually. When I raise my hand or gesture in a certain manner, they know what’s coming because we are all connected. When I am onstage and people see me caught up in the music, entranced, dancing, totally into it, they cannot help but join in. It instantly connects people.”
Kayo formed Kara-Kata here in Canada in response to what he considered was a shortage of the pure version of this particular sound. “I just want to have fun with it and share my tradition and love of this music with my fellow Canadians,” he notes playfully. When asked what he sees on the horizon for the group, Kayo waxes philosophical. “We’ll end up wherever the universe takes us. We’ve come so far in such a short time, and where we are headed, no one knows, but wherever we find ourselves, I know we will be truly happy.”
Labels: Kárà-Kátà Afrobeat Group
Nov 16, 2016
Nov 14, 2016
British-born Ghanaian DJ and producer, Juls digs up some 1960s and 70s West African vinyl for his latest beat tape African Crates Volume 1, a new 18-track release that flips vintage grooves into booming hip-hop beats.
“I sampled a lot of old school Ghanaian and Nigerian highlife and afrobeat from the 60s and 70s,” explains Juls. “[The tracks are] very raw and rugged joints that you can bob your head to, rap and possible dance to… [it also includes] 3 unreleased joints with Worlasi, Black Way and Saint Kwam.”
Nov 11, 2016
Nusɛ: Strength Within is Worlasi's debut musical compilation, the 13 track tape is an exploration of his dreams, emotions and insights on life and a much needed discourse on black power, passions and owning our destinies.
Reinvigorating and unique lyricism lace the afro inspired beats that ring through the tape and make it a refreshingly non-conformist treasure trove of afrobeats and hip-hop influenced melodies.
Spurred on by the massive support received during the ŋusẽ listening session , the tape will feature an extra song (Apocalypse) as a show of gratitude and cementing of his position as a dexterous musician.
His first cohesive body of work, ŋusẽ, which translates from Worlasi`s native Ewe as strength, is an audacious staging platform, set to propel Worlasi to heights unheard of.
Worlasi is signed to supremeRights Records and already has three singles to his credit.
Recently discovered the album by coincidence and it's amazing if you like hiphop. Please check it out, its honestly worth to listen to, in general and especially if you like to discover new music.
With Worlasi’s Nusɛ, it’s just as much the flame in every single song as it is about the overall experience of the project. Every one of the songs on that mixtape is majestic in their wonder, but when you listen to those 13 tracks at half past midnight, God is not so far away. Believe me, they respect my opinion on music of late.
You’ve not heard of him yet? That’s alright. I feel sad for you, but it’s alright. The truest artists usually have to be looked for. If the gods permit, we stumble upon them, but I suspect it’s more a reward for our show of commitment to the pursuit of happyness than anything else.
It’s rare, unimaginable… for an artist to achieve such soul and depth with every song on a project, much less at first attempt…but then again, he’s an Ayigbe boy so…
So many things amaze me about this man. For one thing, he’s meticulous in arranging melody…and the rap just keeps coming, and he’s excellent on every beat, even indigenous rhythm, which is tedious to manoeuvre. And as a listener, it’s one of the best gifts –to feel like time has stopped while you’re absorbing God.
Edem raps in Ewe, EL raps in pidgin, I’m enchanted by them both. I have never, however, seen anyone put these languages side by side…not in this way. These languages, through which Worlasi primarily thinks, complete his identity –Ewe is what this world was introduced to him in. It’s the language through which he noticed care, a mother, play, scolding and a father’s punishment, sleep… In most of West Africa, Pidgin is the language of youth, and discovery, and through which individual conscience is moulded. It’s a more effective medium through which to explore life at twenty-something…because it is a mix of many languages, and it’s the best metaphor of what the average twenty-something has been through. That’s why his monologue is full of philosophy.
Nusɛ is strange and daring, because Worlasi’s words contain a courage and honesty, hope and covered reality.
The music on Nusɛ is original, deliberate, layered, practical, truthful, and definitely several paces ahead of what everyone else is doing right now. His rap is dexterous, his singing evokes feeling, and he’s fearless in choosing to speak in Ewe, which is accurate identity, but might be risky all the same.
In Worlasi’s sound, everything is happening at once, just as happens in Makola…just like life speaks to us. The composure this quality requires is insane. However, when you’ve been obedient enough to the spirits you hear in your head, and are patient enough to program them one at a time (as Worlasi has done here), then you’ve achieved genius. In music, genius is when we hear and are enthralled by something new, no matter how many times a song is repeated; Hallelujah Jesu, Unlooking, Freedom, Wake Orp…
Influence is the best homage. What a true creative makes from influence is a treasure. That is specifically what Nusɛ typifies. And the young man has been influenced by everyone and everything –FOKN Bois, Skillions, C-real, EL, Yaa Amponsah, Adowa, Agbadza, Nkrumah, Jesus, spoken word, everyday…life, basically. I know it’s what’s every artist says, but Worlasi is different, I’m telling you.
It’s not enough for an influence to choose you…the broth you make from it is what gives your voice audacity and reverence.
As a young head, he’s doing what young heads are supposed to do: asking questions. Asking questions is how we process life, yet, we are especially drawn to his approach at unpacking life because of his diction. His words are raw and unpretentious. These fundamental questions he asks, are asked in a way that’s more specific than we are used to. We all have these puzzles running through our minds; what’s our real place out here? What is our role? How do we navigate carnality to something truer, something higher? What do we make of the concept of “one day”? Why aren’t we assisting another to “ get in touch with his or her soul”, like the little boy says in Intro? “We are shapeless spirit forms … “the spirit is here for something greater/ being something greater/ something greater that can help another/ we are born that way…”
I confess, to my shame, that I too have not known Worlasi’s work for long. I came across Nusɛ when it was first released in May last year, but I ignored it. New artists usually don’t have my attention because they all want to brag like Sarkodie (sorry, rap), or, their music is fundamentally a terrible imitation of Nigerian and American rappers…so I couldn’t be bothered about this Ayigbe man who held a shackles on another him in the sitting room with the old tv and family pictures. The image is instructive; we are our own slaves, we are our own masters. Still, I wouldn’t fall for it.
My God, how stupid that was! I know for sure, that if I had heard Nusɛ a year ago, my life would be significantly less directionless. But it’s never too late, He says it himself in Someday: “ ebi late, ebi late/ it’s never too late…”
Six Strings shared a link of Worlasi’s latest single on his timeline. The song, One Life, features himself, with whom the girls are bonding emotionally because of Sobolo (which is someway), as well as Sena Dagadu, whose tone is sunlight. It’s where I finally shook hands with Worlasi. Of course this interaction took me back to everything else he has previously done, hence Nusɛ.
One Life is for reflection, it should be heard in solitude, for silence and slow tears are a natural response. It’s gentle in tempo, so it should not be absorbed in a rush. The string contribution in the song is beautiful and has just as much a voice. The use of silence, and the manner in which the rap both admonishes to live a more appreciative life and questions fundamental logic at the same time is a marvel to observe.
We all have been enamoured by the art which is One Life since it was released yesterday. But I have extra catching up to do, when it comes to Worlasi, so I’m grazing on Nusɛ first.
I love the sound of a good pound in music, and an anger in delivery, so definitely, Hallelujah Jesu is, in my opinion, the highest point of this mixtape. But definitely, every other track on there is superior for various reasons: Freedom (ft. Poetra Asantewaa) is so powerful, Black Man continues to hammer on the real place of the obibini in the world space: “black or white, the blood stays red/ black or white, brain dey your head” . What should make up beauty? Is it make-up, for instance? Hey says you can’t mess with an Ayigbe man. Wake Orp says “allow me to reintroduce myself”, Focus, Some Day predict what happens if we don’t relent, and so on…Hell, even Intro should be part of every child’s morning ritual.
He’s singing, he’s rapping, he’s playing, he’s programming. He’s something special.
The rhythm in which majority of the project comes in, is noteworthy. It’s homage to the roots of our sound, but at the same time, of contemporary worth. The space between past and present is how a perfect future comes about. Worlasi exists in that realm.
The way I felt when I heard Nusɛ, the way I feel when I hear One Life, is strange. Everyone who hears Nusɛ becomes a stalker too. Take Lynna for instance…this is what she texted to him when she stumbled upon his music one day:
“Found you on the weird part of YouTube. Then stalked you on soundcloud. Now making Sunday Jollof with my friends thinking how great your songs are!!!! Bless you.”
Nusɛ is Ewe, and translates as “inner strength”. It’s out there on the internet. It’s still available for download. For free. For free! It’s important you get it now! God, this Ayigbe boy is great!
TRACK BY TRACK
A spoken word piece accompanied by piano chords featuring a child poet reminding us that ‘this body we live in is rented’ and the importance of tapping into our inner souls and abilities for the greater good of mankind-finding the ‘balance’ in life: that balance that kept you from being distracted’ so we can ‘help another get in touch with his/her soul’.
On this military drumbeat driven track, Worlasi forcefully ask people (critics) to respect his hustle (chosen profession) and the direction he is going with his music. With many a musician especially up-coming ones under pressure to blow up, many choose to follow the norm-put out a this-is-here-for-today hot song rather than one that last forever.
Worlasi is one who is going the route the few brave souls have taken hence his caution:Hey, you got your space/ I got mi space/Shine me shine/ Make I shine Me/I’m not a bad guy/But you try getting to my space I go show you say I craze.
A part of Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have A Dream’ speech about the struggles of the Negro opens this track. Worlasi features one of the amazing poets of our generation, Poetra Asantewa. With thumping drum, trumpet sound and haunting background voices, Freedom explores how one can break out of the ‘cell’ of life (fear) which renders humans:The system tries to dictate your future/You try to unzip yourself and you’d be made a dress that don’t suit ya… And in the process of opposing the known to unveil the unknown/All the world sees is stupidity embedded in our anatomy’
Arguably one of the best tracks on the album thanks to the depth of message. Freedom belongs to Poetra rather than Worlasi.
Focus features rappers Empee Raw and Krack Gyamfi. Optimism reeks all over this song which bubbles with an agbadza rhythm. Worlasi talks about not straying off his life goals (Keep fighting/keep your eye on the ball/No bull shy thing). Singing in Ewe and English to drum home his point, Empee Raw and Krack Gyamfi brought some energy to the track. Though the song carries a mid-tempo feel, Worlasi’s calmness is evident.
Na So translate from pidgin to English as ‘That is it’ and here Worlasi remind us to enjoy the gifts of life with the people we love. With its guitar/string bass line, switching between Ewe and English lingua, Worlasi admonishes us: don’t wait for me to die before you come to my funeral/Call me now make we comot/ And have a good time. You may be forgiven into assuming he featured rapper Lyrical Wanzam.
WAKE ORP (Up)
Violin strings, piano synths hovering over hip hop beats dominate Wake Orp (Up). Wake Orp is about striving for the best in life. The electro-synth chorus (You did it/Worla, You did it) is like an orchestra ensemble where all the instruments, in unison hit a crescendo. Worlasi points to some of the people who inspired his pidgin rap-The Fokn Bois (M3nsa and Wanlov), EL, C-Real and Skillions (obviously Lil’ Shaker) get honourable mentions. ‘See me today I say a bi rapper/ One day me too I go pay 25K to feature Busta (Rhymes)’. No malice intended with this line I guess. This is a personal favourite.
TELL ME feat. SHIKA
The instrumentations mirrors the classic Lauryn Hill and Bob Marley ‘Turn Your Light Down Low’ tune and carries some lush Carlos Santana-esque guitar riffs. On this track Mr. W croons somberly about a relationship gone south (I don’t care about my own tears/But I see you babe shed tears/The pain is more than I shed tears/So, baby make it stop). Shika’s lingering soulful vocals despite being trapped beneath the kick and bass, excellently offers shade to the song. One has to acknowledge Worlasi’s ability to pick the best voice to feature on his songs. The two sounded amazing, bringing their emotions to bear on it.Feels like I’m caught up in a shoot/ And still looks like I’m the only one in sight.
POSSIBLE feat. MERCH KONNECT
Another favourite off the album. That beautiful bass drop and violin strings (is it harmonica?) before his voices makes an appearance is awesome. Possible is about having a positive outlook to life knowing everything can be achieved: you never know who is great or who’s not/You never know until you try/And when you do/you go maybe fall/But go on and try.
And didn’t Meche Konnect, the US based songstress just slay with her verse and delivery? It’s like her words were lashing against the beat, reminiscent of Chrisette Michelle on Let Me Win). Notwithstanding the comparison, Meche Konnect killed it.
This piano driven rendition is about the swings of life- how everything can come full circle in the future: You got it all /We ain’t got shit but life goes on…/We no catch the clouds sef/ they call we stars.
This song explores the paradoxical situation of the black man; where the black man continuously doubt his own abilities and prefers to rely on the expertise of the white man. The opening statement of the song is powerful: I no barb/ Black man come see white man them dey jump around/Whiteman come see black man see them/ Them dey start run cos black man be scary man’. Black man is a call for self-believe, being self-relaint and eschewing the negative stereotype about the black man.
On this track, Worlasi goes into a conversation with his mum, telling her about his dreams of wanting to be a Superman and save the world (with his music) but not by ending up with a ‘white colour’ job. The beat is a mix of electro, trap and afrobeat influences giving it an interesting outlook.
Unlooking is a slang to mean ‘not looking or paying attention’ and here Worlasi talks about how people vow to not succumb to things but end up doing the exact opposite: Fine boy dey pass you frown like you no dey like but you spy am from the corner of your eye/ Shankus dey pass/automatically my guy you go spy’. The African rhythms are too groovy to refuse its call to dance.
This song draw parallels with his previous single Ay3 Adze (Well Done) in terms of instrumentation and singing style (though this beats is up-tempo ). The song is a reminder to live happy, smile broadly despite the many obstacles and forget the troubles of the past: why don’t you smile? Let it go…Whatever has happened is in the past?’ Good advice.
Apocalypse carries a pop-funk rhythm which would get you moving. But, the message in the song is relevantly piercing ‘Apocalypse dey come/But be like no bro dey run/ Taxes too dey rise/so be like everybody make wild.
Listening to Nus3 is nothing short of refreshing-from the arrangements to delivery. The album oozes authenticity; a breakaway from the generic hip life/azonto music replete on radio today. Nus3’s strength lies in the lyrics that sit comfortably within these well crafted, infectious jazzy, soul and hip hop and afro beats rhythms which fill the album. Judging by the tons of thoughts expressed on this album, Worlasi comes across as the old soul alive inhabiting a young body.
With Nus3, Worlasi joins a growing legion of young, brave artistes such as Kyekyeku and Delasi who a carving a niche by recording and performing an ‘unpopular’ genre of music and earning respect for it. The album is yours to Love because there isn’t anything to hate.
Nov 10, 2016
The visionary sound of Blitz The Ambassador has been years in the making; with each album crafted to reflect a sonic and visual narrative unique to Blitz's personal experience. His fourth studio album 'Diasporadical' exemplifies this trajectory. Blitz spent a great deal of time traveling between Accra, Salvador Bahia and Brooklyn experiencing the similarities between the African diaspora. "The album title 'Diasporadical' was born out of this experience" Blitz explains. " The radical notion that no matter how fragmented the African diaspora is, the influence of rhythm and spirituality remains largely the same."
On Diasporadical, Blitz conjures his signature blend of Classic Hip-Hop and Contemporary African rhythms, enlisting producers like Optiks and IAMNOBODI to create a seamless fusion of live instruments and hard hitting beats. To bring his vision to life, Blitz assembled a supporting cast of continental and diaspora African artists such as Tumi, Akua Naru, Kamau, Patrice, M.anifest and Somi. The sonic result is a three act narrative, crafted like a stage play.
Diasporadical offers itself as a study of intersections between the global African experience and struggle. No track exemplifies this more than A(wake), written in response to police brutality and the 'Black Lives Matter' movement in America. Inspiration also came from the 'Fees Must Fall' movement in South Africa and the Afro-Brazilian protests during the Olympics.Besides it's politically charged message, Diasporadical also explores themes common in Blitz's past work. Immigration (Hello Africa), Spirituality (Heaven), Nostalgia (Long Time Coming) and Love (Juju Girl).
To reinforce these themes, Blitz directed a 15 minute short film called 'Diasporadical Trilogia'. The story follows a woman who mysteriously wakes up in three different continents. Through a magical realism lens, she shares her memories of growing up as a little girl in Brooklyn, a young lady in Accra and a middle aged woman in Salvador Bahia. With Diasporadical, Blitz has brought his sonic and visual journey full circle. From immigrant struggles on 'Native Sun', to touring in over 30 countries on 'Afropolitan Dreams', this is the album Blitz has been writing his whole life.
01. Act I
02. Hello Africa
04. Juju Girl
05. Act II
08. If Dem No Know
09. Act III ft. Somi
10. Long Time Coming
Labels: Blitz the Ambassador