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Photo Essay: Afropolitan Vibes Festival in Lagos

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 Afropop Worldwide attended the debut Afropolitan Vibes Music Festival held in Freedom Park, Lagos, Nigeria on Dec. 16-17, produced by Nigerian-German musician, music and film producer Ade Bantu and a dedicated team. Building on a successful monthly concert series, Afropolitan Vibes is a showcase where alternative musicians and classic Nigerian popular musicians come together to perform in Freedom Park, the former site of a colonial prison. The two-day festival featured a wide range of artists, many hailing from Nigerian diasporas in Europe and the U.S. Intimate afternoon semi-acoustic sessions were followed by rowdy nighttime main-stage shows hosted by Ade’s 13-piece group, Bantu, the house band for featured artists. The powerful headliners were fuji legend Kollington Ayinla on Friday and the popular fuji artist, Saheed Osupa, on Saturday. All photos by Kazeem Akinpelu.

Ade Bantu hosted the acoustic sessions with insightful artist interviews and a smooth banter.U.S.-based neo-soul singer Mary Akpa in conversation.img_0817Bantu igniting the main stage on night one.img_0948Mary Akpa with Bantu.img_0969Ayo Awosika with Bantu.img_0985Gospel singer Nosa touched the crowd with soulful originals.img_1017

img_1011Oghene Kologbo, an alumnus of Fela’s Africa 70, rocked the stage with blistering guitar solos and a bright smile.img_1053

img_1041Terry Apala, a young self-described “apala hip-hop” artist, lifted the crowd with apala vocal inflections and hip-hop swag.img_1063 img_1070

img_1059Powerful all-female vocal group Adunni and Nefertiti took it to the roots.img_1080 img_1081It’s fuji time! The legend Kollington Ayinla in profile.img_1090Nigerian film director Kunle Afolayan moved to dance to Kollington’s classic fuji music.img_1107 img_1110 The stage filled with dancers, lost in the heavy grooves.img_1132 img_1139 img_1141Nigerian rocker Keziah Jones shared songs and stories at the acoustic sessions.img_1162 img_1177 Abiodun Wurasamba Oke leading a drum circle.img_1188Bantu takes the stage for the second night.img_1193Cameroonian soul singer Danielle Eog Makeda.img_1216The Bantu horns.img_1207Nigerian dancehall originator General Pype.img_1228It’s fuji time again!img_1268Saheed Osupa brought strong, street-wise energy to the stage.img_1253 img_1283 img_1313 img_1355 img_1356

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