Photos

DJ Nigga Fox's Unorthodox Angolan Sound

Angolan-born, Lisbon-based producer DJ Nigga Fox shares an exclusive photo gallery and expands on his unorthodox name.

Angolan-born, Lisbon-based producer DJ Nigga Fox aka Rogério Brandão burst onto the scene with 2013's standout O Meu Estilo EP, which garnered praise from several outlets and was supported by the likes of Radiohead's Thom Yorke. The release encompasses a 5-song manifesto (its title translates to My Style) that introduces the producer's frenzied and rampant blend of Angolan kuduro, kizomba, and tarraxinha beatwork with underground bass and techno production.


The producer's explicit moniker came about from his experiences as a child. As his label tells us,  "when [Brandão] was a kid playing soccer in his street with the rest of the kids, they all used to call him 'nigga' and that stuck over the years, because yes, he was the only black kid on his street... he found no wrong or bad intention behind it, there really was no[ne] and there is no heavy thing attached to it today. The 'Fox' bit [came] because when he started there already existed a 'DJ Nigga'... and also as a homage to DJ Marfox [who] was quite influential [to] him getting started, listening to his tunes [after] meeting him [in] high school."

DJ Nigga Fox is now readying his sophomore Noite E Dia release through Lisbon's superb Príncipe Discos label (also the home of DJ Marfox). Noite E Dia's lead single "Um Ano" is a thunderous affair packed with waves of percussion and unrelenting horn & vocal samples that, once again, see the producer bringing about a wholly original dance sound. Stream "Um Ano" below and browse through a gallery of exclusive photographs of DJ Nigga Fox in his Northern Lisbon neighborhood of Ameixoeira, shot by Marta Pina, above.

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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