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EMEFE means Music Frees All.
Gathering large influence from Prince’s soul and Fela’s power, melding the spirit of Talking Heads with the layered voices of The Beach Boys, EMEFE uses its original blend to prove that there are no bad days, only days that need a new soundtrack. Using guitar riffs to liven your spirit, horn melodies to blow your cares away, explosive percussion breaks, keyboard magic and the baddest bass around, EMEFE shaves off the past and lets you dance right into a Good Future.
EMEFE’s enormous sound finds its center in 22-year-old Miles Arntzen. Raised in the heart of Greenwich Village on a hearty diet of funk and rock fed by his trumpeter father, Miles has a refined taste for excellence. This bandleader, drummer, singer and primary composer formed EMEFE four years ago after discovering the emotive power of Fela’s afrobeat. Upon writing his own material, he immediately needed a vehicle to share his excitement, so he turned to his brothers Doug Berns, Jas Walton, Jake Pinto, Michael Harlen, and later Deen Anbar, Javier Ramos, Michael Fatum, Ray Mason and Zach Mayer to carry his messages of positivity to the world.
Arntzen’s talent and energy (as mentored by Billy Martin of Medeski Martin & Wood) were soon discovered on YouTube by musical idols, Antibalas, who claimed Miles as their own in 2010. Under the wing of saxophonist/composer Stuart Bogie (Superhuman Happiness), Miles was brought into the fold and toured the world before his 21st birthday, eventually becoming the band’s conductor onstage. Since then Arntzen has collaborated with Tony Allen, Kronos Quartet, Medeski Martin and Wood, Ommas Keith, Nile Rodgers, M1 (Dead Prez), Elizabeth & The Catapult, Baloji, Rubblebucket and more.
As Arntzen honed his skills on the world’s stage, he translated his experiences back to his EMEFE family, and their sound took on a life of its own. What started as a pure afrobeat exposition grew into the deep musical well that is EMEFE’s sound - mixing afrobeat with soul, rock, and pop influences. Perfected and enhanced by the more-than-advanced musical aptitude of Miles’ band members, EMEFE has not only discovered their unique sound: they embody it.
To watch EMEFE perform is to be seized by sound and exalted with the energy and magnetism the band brings to the stage, the street, into the audience and into your body and mind. EMEFE’s show will shake you in and out of your comfort zone, lift you up with joy and give you a taste of what it feels like to be a part of music fueled by pure love and devotion.
EMEFE means Music Frees All, and EMEFE plays music that frees all. Feel it for yourself! We’ll meet you on the dance floor.