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Afropop Premiere: “Creole” Underground Horns featuring Okai

Underground Horns is a New York-based brass band that plays in a range of styles from Afrobeat to Ethio-funk to salsa. They can be frequently be seen and heard performing in subway stations as a featured band in the MTA’s MUNY (Music Under New York) program, but they also play regularly at hip New York venues including Nublu and Drom. They play Nublu on May 2 at 11:30 pm! Go check ’em out!

Their new album, Almost Blue, produced by bandleader and alto saxophonist Welf Dorr (outta Germany), is a testament to the mixed-up music culture of New York City: The album opens with Charles Mingus’ “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat,” and includes covers of Mulatu Astatke’s “Cha Cha” and Don Cherry’s rolling tribute to the Malian town, “Mopti.” The originals are just as stylistically diverse, from funk banger “Full Moon” to New Orleans-style “Mardi Gras,” to house music-inspired “House Song,” to “Ethio” (not very imaginative titles, but they communicate the idea).

“Creole” is one of the standout tracks on the album, and Afropop is proud to premiere it! The tune features Underground Horns’ percussionist Okai on lead vocals, singing in Haitian Creole. Okai, who is of Haitian descent, was born and raised in Brooklyn, and became involved in music via hip-hop and djembe drumming. He is also a standout MC and percussionist in BK’s own Brown Rice Family. Okai flows over the fast-paced rhythm, bringing the track to life with lively vocals and drumming. Download it for free, limited time only. Enjoy!

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