There are still plenty of political problems to protest. Afrobeat’s potent poly-rhythms and exhilarating horns act as a powerful foil to oppression.
Read this post to learn about some of the bands around the world making Afrobeat an intriguing music genre that matters, and keeps growing & evolving. Watch a couple of exciting performances from international Afrobeat acts. And, hear a playlist comprised of Afrobeat songs from the past few years…
Listen to this Spotify playlist of awesome Afrobeat songs from the 2000s…
Astonishing Afrobeat Gone Global
Expressing Creativity Through The Music Of The African Diaspora
Taking The Bull By The Horns
Unsinkable Afrobeat Ship
Their fantastic first album, Afro-Fire, featured singer Patrick Kabré (born and raised in Burkina Faso). In the spring of 2016, the band returned to West Africa to record their second album with Kabré and a number of other master Burkina Faso and Mali musicians. On this album, Made in Africa from 2016, The KutiMangoes find the spirit of the music that first inspired them on their journey to share and unite people and cultures through music. Listen to “This Ship Will Sink” from Made in Africa — a high-energy beautiful instrumental you just can’t resist.
Funky, Volcanic Soul Sounds
“Dragon Lotion” is an especially funky, joyful Afrobeat groove. The electric piano lines, and then the Latin percussion breakdown make this tune extra diverse and danceable. This song is the most purely Afrobeat on Caldera, an awesome album of genre-bending jams, and one of the best collections of instrumental Funk songs from 2017.
Watch & listen to a funkier live version of Polyrhythmics “Dragon Lotion” from KNKX Public Radio’s Live Studio Session…
Afrobeat Godfather Goes To The Source
Sounds Buzzin’, Life Is Jumpin’
The Groove Is Growing
Listen to their high-energy song, “We Thit” and watch its excellent video here…
Afrobeat Contributes To Global Warming
Lots Of Afrobeats
You get to hear all these influences in full force on their superb 2017 record, Stinger. “Lots” appears in this playlist because it’s the album’s purest Afrobeat tune, and yet, these guys use Afrobeat as a launching pad to create dramatic, genre-defying music with lots of heart & soul.
1 By 1, 2 By 2
Watch Ogun Afrobeat play “Efon”, the first track of their 2016 album Koko Iroyin…
Chasing Funky Afrobeat Grooves
More Funky Afrobeat Down Under
“Soul Dive” from their 2013 album, Power Struggle on Record Kicks, keeps the funky Afrobeat groove going in this playlist. If you’ve ever wondered what it might have sounded like if Fela Kuti had recorded at Stax Records in the 70s…this might have been the result.
Blending influences from 1970s Nigerian Afrobeat with the deepest of street Funk, The Seven Ups are the original 7-piece party band out of Melbourne. Expect unrestrained solos by unkempt horns over an unpretentious rhythm section whose only interest is laying it down.
Their stellar 2017 album, Drinking Water, gives us “Bada Dada.” Dig the heavy dose of wah-wah guitar (which then rocks out), deep bass, potent percussion & horny horns comin’ at ya. It’s a super funky Afrobeat jam that will make you wanna get up and dance! They make me want to book a trip ASAP to Australia to hang out hearing the bands of the Melbourne funky world music scene.
Afrobeat Inna Germany
The current lineup of Tiliboo Afrobeat began to take shape 2011, with the arrival of Moussa Coulibaly, a griot from Burkina Faso whose primary instrument is the ballafon. With Omar’s congas and Moussa’s ballafon anchoring the folkloric aspects of the music.
The addition of Americans Conor McNally on keyboards, Nick Morrison on guitar, and of French saxophonist Felix Gibaud enabled the band to fully exploit the inherent Afro-Jazz potential of Omar’s music. Supported by the German bass player Charlie Birkenhauer and drummer Sebastian Maschat, the band moves effortlessly from Afro-Cuban salsa to deep Casamance trance rhythms, to Fela Kuti-style Afrobeat to a traditional Mandinka griot repertoire. Enjoy “Satémolu” from 2016 record, Silabaa, in this playlist.
Dance Like There’s No One Watching
Afro-Funk, Afrobeat & Psychedelic Inspired Dance Music From Brooklyn
Listen to Super Yamba Band’s 2016 single, “N’Diarabi,” in this playlist. You’ll find a unique blend of inspiration born of 70s/80s West-African Afrobeat and Psychedelic Funk with the sounds of Mali and Senegal, plus a sprinkle of Jamaica, accented by the pulse of talking drum, sabar and djembe, beneath swells of raw keyboards, infectious bass lines and powerful horn statements.
Super Yamba Band released their second single, “Control Per Capita (C.P.C),” in January, 2017. They wrote it to pay homage to Fela Kuti’s 1977 tune “Johnny Just Drop.” Like many of Kuti’s protest songs, “Control Per Capita” is a cry against the “control of every head,” says writer and trumpet player Sean Smith.
This exhilarating, funky instrumental song is about the injustices of controlling unknowing populations, often through the use of propaganda and fear tactics on the 24-hour news cycles, according to Smith. Though the song was originally written in 2014 and recorded in 2016, “the theme rings particularly true in America right now,” says bandleader and drummer, Daniel Yount, “especially as the methods of control are becoming more literal with walls and bans.”
Listen to Super Yamba Band’s spine-tingling song, “Control Per Capita(C.P.C)” here (then buy it on Bandcamp)…