Video

Fela Lives! Felabration Live In New York City [Okayafrica TV]

Watch as Sahr, star of the Fela! musical, transforms into Fela Kuti for New York City's Felabration 2013.


Okayafrica recently joined forces with Red Hot + Fela to host New York City's FELABRATION bash in honor of the godfather Fela Kuti. The festivities kicked off with some afrobeat tunes and classic Fela footage beaming off the Brooklyn Bowl speakers & screens onto a packed crowd. The Fela! Band, fronted by Sahr Ngaujah (the star of FELA! on Broadway) and a pair of hypnotizing dancers, mesmerized the stage with a wide selection of the afrobeat king's standouts. Okayafrica TV trailed Sahr as he readied himself for his transformation into Fela Kuti, a ritual he described as' opening up to enigmatic energy' and likened to communion — but mainly, he just wished Fela's family would approve. Watch the OKATV episode below.

Audio
(Youtube)

7 Gengetone Acts You Need to Check Out

The streets speak gengetone: Kenya's gengetone sound is reverberating across East Africa and the world, get to know its main purveyors.

Sailors' "Wamlambez!"Wamlambez!" which roughly translates to "those who lick," is the cry the reverberated round the world, pushing the gengetone sound to the global stage. The response "wamnyonyez" roughly translates to "those who suck" and that should tell you all you need to know about the genre.

Known for its lewd lyrics and repetitive (often call and response) hooks, gengetone makes no apologies for belonging to the streets. First of all, most artists that create gengetone are grouped into bands with a few outliers like Zzero Sufuri riding solo. The songs themselves often feature a multiplicity of voices with screams and crowds coming through as ad libs, adding to this idea that this is definitely "outside" music.

Listening to Odi wa Muranga play with his vocal on the track "Thao" it's easy to think that this is the first, but gengetone fits snuggly in a history of sheng rap based on the kapuka style beat. Kapuka is onomatopoeically named, the beats have that repetitive drum-hat-drum skip that sounds like pu-ka-pu-ka-pu. Artists like Nonini were asking women to come over using this riff long before Ochungulo family told them to stay home if they aren't willing to give it up.

Here's seven gengetone groups worth listening to.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Former President of Botswana Ian Khama Condemns Zimbabwean Government

Former Botswana President Ian Khama has condemned Zimbabwe's government and joined solidarity with #ZimbabweanLivesMatter.