Video

Afro-Brazil 2014: Buraka Som Sistema x Adidas Samba Collection 'Bota'

Watch the Adidas Samba Collection advert featuring Buraka Som Sistema's 'Bota,' in preperation for World Cup Brazil 2014.


As we gear up for next summer's World Cup in Brazil 2014, we'll be taking moments to highlight some select Brazilian tracks that come across our desks. From capoeira music (an accompaniment to the sport) and maracatu to samba and the favela-bred baile funk, the influence of African cultures & sounds on the South American nation's own arts is immeasurable. In our series Afro-Brazil 2014 we'll be digging into a few of these 'ritmos e batidas' from Brazil.

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Longtime site favorites Buraka Som Sistema were literally the first group that came to mind when we heard the World Cup was going to be held in Brazil. We daydreamed about the multiple ways their blend of Lisbon, Angolan, and Brazilian street sounds could be used by a laundry list of advertisers to promote the world's hands-down best sports tournament. Well, here we are.

Adidas, an official FIFA partner, has tapped Buraka Som Sistema's new single "Bota" ("Boot") to promote their bright-colored cleats Samba CollectionThe advertisement features some of the best players in the world, including Brazil/Barça's Dani Alves, OscarMesut Özil, 'El Niño' Torres, and, of course, their crown brand ambassador Lionel Messi. The Buraka Som Sistema song coincidentally utilizes vocals from our first Afro-Brazil 2014 feature: Brazilian rapper Karol Conka. Watch "Bota" and our Okayafrica TV episode with Buraka Som Sistema below.

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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