Time to shake it up to kuduro from Angola, soukous from Congo, Retro- chicha from Peru, techno brega from Brazil, retro-funk from Nigeria, and lots of genre bending sounds. Featured artist include Titica, Black Bazar, Bonga, Chicha Libre, José Conde, Amadou & Mariam, the Funkees. [Produced by Sean Barlow. Originally aired April 19th.]
Breakout star Titica is shaking up the world of kuduro, not only producing dance floor hits and garnering international attention for her music, but also breaking the mold as the first transgender African star.
Both a world class athlete and a musical legend, Bonga has long been one of Angola’s most prominent cultural figures.
Formed in Guinea by refugees from Sierra Leone’s civil war, the band has become well known internationally, touring widely and raising awareness of humanitarian issues.
A transnational group of Peruvians (both ex-pats and current residents), Novalima’s music is a heady stew of influences, mixing Afro-Peruvian folk musics with the sounds of pop, rock, reggae, dub, and rap.
Chicha Libre plays a mixture of latin rhythms, surf music and psychedelic pop inspired by Peruvian music from Lima and the Amazon. The Brooklyn-based band mixes up covers of forgotten Chicha classics with French-tinged originals, re-interpretation of 70’s pop classics as well as cumbia versions of pieces by Satie and Wagner.
Cuban-American Jose Conde makes an ecelectic music drawing on any number of influences, including various Cuban styles, funk, pop, and reggae.
Gaby Amarantos, known as the Brazillian Beyonce, is the reigning queen of tecno brega, a style of pop music currently lighting up that country’s music scene. For more about the music, see this list written by Afropop producer Marlon Bishop
The younger generation of Tecno brega is epitomized by Banda Uo, who combine a savvy style, a dj’s lack of respect for intellectual property law, and Timbaland’s instincts for crafting club bangers.
Either alone or working with the group Gangue Do Electro, Dj Waldo Squash is another major player on the technobrega scene.
A force of the afrorock sound of the early seventies, the Funkees were one of the major players on the Nigerian club scene, often packing them in seven days a week.