A New Film About Capoeira Takes Us From Brazil To The Bronx

Kamal Robinson’s new movie is a bumpy but satisfying capoeira-filled cross-country adventure. Watch it online.

The poster for Kamal Robinson's FiGHT DANCE SiNG 2: Capoeira Across the Country
Baltimore-born filmmaker Kamal Robinson’s new movie is a bumpy but satisfying capoeira-filled cross-country adventure.

Originally released in 2012, FiGHT DANCE SiNG: a Capoeirista's story, follows New Yorker and capoeirista Junie Lachman as he struggles to overcome obstacles ranging from an unforeseen house guest to street violence. This month, Robinson is back with a sequel for the film.

Utilizing a “lost footage” filmmaking style, FiGHT DANCE SiNG 2: Capoeira Across the Country chronicles the story of Junie as he takes a road trip back to his home, the Bronx, from Los Angeles where he’s been living for the past three years, stopping to get some capoeira on along the way. Junie makes the journey using only google maps and his video camera. The film’s naturalistic style, acting, and documentary-like format is refreshing.

Capoeira, a Brazilian martial art that is part dance and music, part acrobatics and part effective fighting style is heavily featured throughout the film. Created by West African slaves brought to Brazil, capoeira’s swift, complex, and powerful movements were aimed at being able to take on armed adversaries - the Portuguese capitães-do-mato, a mounted and heavily armed colonial police tasked with re-capturing runaway slaves. Capoeira became essential in their fight for freedom.

The beautiful martial art that is capoeira has since made its way the world over. Make sure to peep parts one and two of Robinson’s Fight Dance Sing films below.

The poster for Kamal Robinson's FiGHT DANCE SiNG: a Capoeirista's story

Interview: Terri Is Stepping Out of the Shadows

We talk to the Wizkid-signed artist about the story behind the massive hit "Soco" and his latest Afro Series EP.

Certain afrobeats songs have made in-roads in international markets and paved the way for the genre's ceaselessly-rising widespread recognition. Among these history-defining songs were D'banj's "Oliver Twist," Tekno's "Pana," Davido's "If" & "Fall," Runtown's "Mad Over You," and of course, Wizkid's "Soco." Wizkid released "Soco" under his label imprint, Starboy Entertainment in March 2018, and the song spread like wildfire across Africa and beyond. "Soco" was an Afro-pop wonder delivered at a time when the 'afrobeats to the world' movement was gathering steam, further cementing its electric nature. The Northboi-produced song was co-signed by celebrities across the world like Rihanna, Cardi B, and Paul Pogba and has accrued well over a hundred million streams across streaming platforms worldwide.

"Soco" was not only a trailblazer amongst mid-2010s afrobeats records, it was also the introduction of the first Wizkid-signed artist, Terri. Just weeks before "Soco" was released, Terri was discovered by Wizkid's longtime producer, Mutay, who saw him covering the song "Oshe" on social media.

Before "Soco," Terri Akewe was well on his way to fame. At fifteen, he had performed at street carnivals in his neighbourhood and, one time, was carried all the way home by neighbours after winning a Coca-Cola sponsored singing competition. Before his life-changing meeting with Wizkid, Terri had a seven-track EP ready for release, as well as a viral song titled "Voices." "One time I was on set with the video director T.G Omori, he told me that 'Voices' was the first time he heard of me" Terri tells me as we settle on a plush couch at his home in Lagos.

Regardless of Terri's initial career trajectory; signing to a label headed by afrobeats' biggest superstar was bound to accelerate his musical journey, and at the same time, cast a huge shadow of expectation on his career, especially given a debut as spectacular as "Soco." With his latest EP, Afro Series, powered by the sensational single "Ojoro," one thing is clear: Terri is stepping out of the shadows into his own spotlight and he is doing it on his own terms.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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