DEBUT ALBUM RELEASED 11TH SEPTEMBER ON WORMFOOD RECORDS
Available in CD + digital formats
We’ve come a long way since the Drummers of Burundi’s now famous appearance at the inaugural WOMAD Festival in 1982. Today a new era for ‘world music’ is emerging, both in the UK and globally. The internet and permeation of mobile technology mean ideas and musical styles are shared globally at a rate faster than ever, with hiphop scenes in Senegal, house music scenes in South Africa, Kuduro in Portugal and futuristic African music across the UK.
In London, African music has become increasingly popular. No longer deemed “exotic”, it is simply part of the musical make-up of 21st century Britain. This is the starting point for Afriquoi - a new generation of musical producers and consumers who have grown up with African music alongside house, garage, drum and bass, grime, hiphop, reggae and jazz.
Afriquoi’s debut album ‘Kolaba’, released 11th September on Wormfood Records, is a deep project with real roots. Rather than a one-off collaboration between musicians with no musical or personal connection, ‘Kolaba’ is
the product of four years intense work with the same group of people, deepening their knowledge of each other’s musical, cultural and personal histories. This gives the Afriquoi sound a particular richness and uniqueness.
Bringing in elements of Congolese soukous and rumba, Mandinka griot music, Shona mbira and marimba, Jamaican dancehall, house, garage, disco and drum and bass, ‘Kolaba’ embraces styles from across the African diaspora but with its roots firmly planted in London where the band live. As guitarist Fiston ‘Papa’ Lusambo says, “This is a new music. If you miss it, you miss life”.
Afriquoi came to be in 2011 when promoter and percussionist André Marmot arranged separate production collaboration sessions between producer Nico Bentley, guitarist Fiston Lusambo, kora player Jally Kebba Suso and marimba player Kudaushe Matimba.
Having run ‘Rootmaster’, the world music sessions at Hootananny Brixton since 2009, André mixed with a huge number of London’s African musicians and groups, and so was in a unique position to arrange collaborations with fellow musicians. There was no set outcome planned beyond inviting a range of musicians he admired to collaborate with a producer he trusted, and seeing what happened.
Further collaborations took place over the next few years with Jamaican/Birmingham vocalist Serocee, deep house/ disco vocalist and singer Andre Espeut, Algerian mandol player Seddik Zebiri, dancehall singer Warrior Queen, and grime MC Badness, as well as sessions with Swedish/Botswanan mbira player Otto Gumaelius, Gambian percussionist Musa Mboob, Senegalese singer Batch Gueye and guimbri player Nuru Kane.
Although not all these artists made it onto the album it was an important formative experience for the band’s sound and after playing shows with a variety of personnel, the band cohered in Summer 2013 with the live lineup of Jally Kebba Suso (kora), Fiston Lusambo (guitar), André Espeut (vocals), Nico Bentley (live electronics) and André Marmot (percussion).
Having performed at a hugely diverse range of festivals and venues including Glastonbury, Bestival, Secret Garden Party, Fusion Festival and many more, Afriquoi are set for more shows this summer with the ‘Kolaba’ album launch at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, South Bank Centre, 11th September.
2015 live shows:
4th SCOTLAND Kelburn Garden Party
5th LEEDS Hi-Fi
17th LONDON Lovebox Festival
18th LANCASHIRE Beat Herder Festival
25th CAMBRIDGESHIRE Secret Garden Party
1st HOLLAND Ruigoord Festival
15th GERMANY 3000grad Festival
29th NORTHAMPTONSHIRE Shambala Festival (DJ set)
30th ITALY Kribiskrabis Festival
31st CROATIA Dimensions Festival
3rd CROATIA Outlook Festival, Croatia
11th LONDON Queen Elizabeth Hall, South Bank Centre