Yemi Alade: A Mama Africa for the Millennial Generation

August 11, 2017 § Leave a comment

Yemi Alade put on a party of a show at the Howard Theatre in Washington, DC

Fans had started screaming for Nigeria’s music superstar Yemi Alade long before she came onstage at the Howard Theatre in Washington, DC, as they endured an extra-long opening set with a multitude of dancers, rappers and singers. When she finally burst onto the stage with her dancers, electrifying the crowd with two of her hit songs “Tangerine” and “Tumbum,” one could not help but conclude that we were witnessing the evolution of a bonafide African music legend. No matter who’s top of the bill, you can always expect a party when an African musician puts on a concert, and Yemi Alade did not disappoint. She engaged the crowd in raucous call and response chants to her songs, and invited several guests onto the stage to participate in a mini dance-off. The 28-year-old singer and songwriter describes her music as “afropolitan,” or “Afro-highlife, a meld of Afrobeat, R&B, pop, and highlife.” Before her DC show, Yemi Alade sat down with « Read the rest of this entry »

Powerful Tribute to Diaspora Women at The AfroLatino Festival NYC 2017

July 15, 2017 § 3 Comments

Amara La Negra performs at the AfroLatino Festival NYC July 8

It was a powerful tribute to Diaspora women at the 5th edition of the AfroLatino Festival NYC, and it couldn’t have been done at a more important time, as they have essentially been the backbone – as well as at the forefront – of the struggle for basic human rights and justice. At a time when the very existence of AfroLatinos and other Afrodescendientes is still questioned, spaces and events like this two-day festival are vital to the survival and evolution of Diaspora and Afrolatino communities. The festivities started at the historic Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, in Harlem, with a AfroLatin Talks symposium and a Liberación Film Festival. Afro-Peruvian singer/songwriter Susanna Baca received « Read the rest of this entry »

Protoje talks Reggae with Afrofusion TV

June 26, 2017 § Leave a comment

Protoje performs at the Howard Theatre in Washington, DC

A couple of years ago when Prince made that statement at the Grammys, “Like books and  Black Lives, albums still matter,” he might as well have been making reference to reggae star Protoje, whose 2015 album Ancient Future is definitely one of the best reggae albums from Jamaica in quite some time. In a world of mixtapes and leaked tracks, Protoje has led a new wave of reggae artists who are creating some really innovative and inspirational music, with Protoje and his Indiggnation Collective, already putting out three and half albums since 2011. In what is really a growing but tight community of creative artists, the movement dubbed reggae revival by author and activist Dutty Bookman has led to some stellar collaborations between musicians like Jesse Royal, Kabaka Pyramid, Jah 9, Chronixx, and others. One of the most popular – “Who Knows,” by Protoje featuring Chronixx appears on Ancient Future; the song has become a staple at « Read the rest of this entry »

Reggae Forever: Etana talks to Afrofusion TV

June 15, 2017 § Leave a comment

 

Etana belts out a song during her live performance at the Hamilton DC

Reggae singer and songwriter Etana swung through Washington, DC on June 11th to perform live at the Hamilton DC, and graciously made time to chat with us at Afrofusion TV. As she prepares to release her fifth studio album, the Jamaican singer born Shauna McKenzie is on a whirlwind road show dubbed the “Reggae Forever Tour,” taking her inspirational and uplifting songs to the masses worldwide. As is the case with a number of artists associated with the movement, Etana is a bit wary of the “reggae revival” label, and gave a very measured and thoughtful response in our interview.

Etana performs at the Hamilton DC on her “Reggae Forever” tour.

« Read the rest of this entry »

The 4/20 Chronixx “Chronology” Show

April 23, 2017 § Leave a comment

Chronixx at the Fillmore in Silver Spring, MD

The first single off his soon-to-be released debut album Chronology, “Likes,” has Chronixx warning us about the superficiality of social media hype. But, it’s evident that the most prominent artist at the forefront of the reggae revival has also made very smart use of social media to steadily grow his worldwide fan base. That – together with his critically acclaimed EP Dread and Terrible, the announcement of his Chronology tour, and his February appearance on NBC’s The Tonight Show – has made his new disc one of the most eagerly anticipated reggae debut albums. We first heard of Chronixx back when we interviewed the man who coined the term “reggae revival,” author, culture activist and DJ Dutty Bookman. Naturally, seeing Chronixx and his band

Chronixx goes airborne during his performance in Silver Spring, MD

Zincfence Redemption live in concert on April 20 was a must, and although we were not able to interview the artist this time, we can share some photos and a (cell phone) video clip from his show. Fellow Jamaican artist Kelissa, who is also « Read the rest of this entry »

Bodoma Garifuna at the Afro-Latino Festival NYC 2015

July 28, 2015 § 1 Comment

Bodoma Garifuna perform their traditional Garifuna music and dance at the the Afro-Latino Festival NYC

Bodoma Garifuna performs their traditional Garifuna music and dance at the the Afro-Latino Festival NYC

It was the first time the Afro-Latino Festival NYC 2015 had been held over a three-day period, but it was just as well, because Harlem, the Bronx and Brooklyn were all a part of a joyous coming together of Latin Americans celebrating the diversity of Afrodescendente culture. Afrofusion TV made it to Brooklyn on the last day of the festival to capture some scenes for our upcoming segment on Afro-Latino identity, and we were pleased to find a group from Honduras called Bodoma Garifuna Culture Band on the billing. Our interest in the Garifuna goes beyond what we need for our African Diaspora series, though. I’ve always been interested in learning more about Garifuna, a group descended from West and Central Africans, Island Carib, and Arawak peoples that live mostly in the Central American coastal areas of Honduras, Guatemala, Belize and Nicaragua. Diaspora Garifuna communities can « Read the rest of this entry »

Decoding The Expats : Wayna’s Interview with Afrofusion TV

March 27, 2014 § Leave a comment


I don’t know if it matters that Ethiopian American singer/songwriter Wayna‘s sophomore album Higher Ground is high on a list of top 25 most slept-on soul albums of the last decade. After all it’s common knowledge that to hear really good soul music, hip hop, or R&B you have to hunt for it. Mercifully we didn’t

Wayna performs at U Street Music Hall in Washington, DC, Nov. 2013

Wayna performs at U Street Music Hall in Washington, DC, Nov. 2013

have to go searching for The Expats, her third and latest album; we had a delicious preview two days before its release at a U Street Music Hall show last November, where the Grammy nominated singer joined two other DC based artists Wes Felton and Asheru for a “Triple Threat” performance promoted by Munch’s Hedrush Music. Fusing her soul sound with elements of afrobeat, alt rock, reggae, indian music, and hip hop, Wayna does with The Expats what she deals with day-to-day – navigating that « Read the rest of this entry »

DC Artists Wayna and Wes Felton hold CD Release Show, hosted by Asheru

November 8, 2013 § Leave a comment

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Promoted by DJ Munch’s Hedrush, Grammy-nominated Ethiopian born artist Wayna and another DC local Wes Felton are both celebrating their new album releases at the U Street Music Hall on Sunday November 10. Hosted by longtime DC hip hop artist Asheru (Unspoken Heard, Boondocks intro), the show is sure to bring out the creme de la creme of the DC indie soul and hip hop scenes. Wayna’s

Wayna (courtesy Wayna's Facebook page)

Wayna (courtesy Wayna’s Facebook page)

new release, “The Expats,” has been described as “brilliant” by none other than the Washington Post; she got the Grammy nod for her cover of the Minnie Riperton classic “Loving You,” back in 2009. “Imagine the Future” is Wes Felton’s new effort, produced by Kenny Allen, another local artist. Asheru himself is about to drop his new full length release, “Sleepless in Soweto.” Sounds like its going to be a great Veterans Day weekend in the District of Columbia. If you’re going be in DC, don’t miss this fantastic offering. Bless…

Jimmy Cliff’s “Many Rivers Crossed Tour” Hits DC

September 29, 2013 § 2 Comments

Reggae Icon Jimmy Cliff in his element at the Howard Theatre in Washington, DC

Reggae Icon Jimmy Cliff in his element at the Howard Theatre in Washington, DC

Jimmy Cliff kicked off the show on the nyabinghi drum

Jimmy Cliff kicked off the show on the nyabinghi drum

Who knew that Wonderful World, Beautiful People was inspired by a trip Jimmy Cliff made to Brazil? Or that Cat Stevens, who wrote the original Wild World, actually helped produce Jimmy Cliff’s version, which went on to become a top ten UK hit? These are some of the gems that have come from the grammy-winning rock and roll hall of fame inductee as he winds up his “Many Rivers Crossed Tour,” playing mostly classic hits and telling the stories behind them. At the Howard Theatre in Washington, DC, the 65 year-old Jimmy Cliff’s energy was truly on show, from the first nyabinghi drum beat to the last strum of his Schecter Electric guitar. He left the stage four times, only to be cajoled back by chants of “Jimmy! Jimmy! Jimmy!” The tour coincides with the 40th Anniversary of the US release of The Harder They Come, the movie in which he played the lead role of Ivan, a “rude boy” and aspiring singer. Apart from the title track, Cliff also contributed three « Read the rest of this entry »

Blitz the Ambassador’s Afropolitan Dreams Block Party

May 7, 2013 § 1 Comment

Blitz the Ambassador goes airborne during his performance in Brooklyn, NY

Blitz the Ambassador goes airborne during his performance in Brooklyn, NY

What could beat a free block party in Brooklyn, New York thrown by Blitz the Ambassador and featuring French duo Les Nubians, with a film screening of the Sundance hit Restless City, a picnic, and a live DJ on a May weekend afternoon? Not much else, we figured; tack on a chance to nab an interview with Blitz, and off we went! Boy was it worth it. The Ghanaian born hip hop artist has been called the future of African music, and together with his live band he KILLED it at Fulton Park last Saturday May 4th. His brand of music is infused with Afrobeat and highlife influences, and his live performance in itself is just sheer irrepressible energy. The rest of his band seemed like they were ready to rip off the suits they « Read the rest of this entry »

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