Art
Photo Credit: Edmund Green

You Should Really Check Out Garçons' New Single 'Pedigree'

An afrobeat-inspired modern groove.

Garçons are a new duo coming out of Canada comprised of Nigerian-rooted singer-songwriter Deelo Avery and producer/director Julian Strangelove.

The Ottawa-based group, who blend influences from R&B, soul and funk, is readying the release of their sophomore EP. Its lead single "Pedigree" is a standout track crafted out of afrobeat guitars and hazy keyboards that nods to Deelo's Nigerian background while weaving in modern R&B and pop elements.


"The inspiration behind this song came from our love for classic Afrobeat music during the 1970s," Garçons mention. "Growing up in Nigeria, Deelo (singer) was exposed to Fela Kuti and other afrobeat artists from the day he was born. His music constantly played in his house, on the TV and everywhere on the radio. It runs in his blood, hence the name 'Pedigree.' It was fun to start there with those elements of funk, jazz and soul, and develop that into something with our own little original touch."

The single comes paired with a lighthearted and contagiously fun music video directed by Julian Strangelove which follows Deelo as a school janitor.

Get into the new single and video from Garçons below and stream/purchase it everywhere here.

Pedigree - Garçons youtu.be

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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