Events

Okayafrica Electrafrique Touches Down In Dakar With DJ Cortega, Don Dazy & DJ Psyle [5/15]

Okayafrica Electrafrique is headed to Senegal, where DJ Cortega will be hosting a night of afrofuture sounds with Don Dazy and DJ Psyle.


Flyer by Meliyart Graphik.

Okayafrica Electrafrique is headed to Senegal this week, where DJ Cortega will be hosting a night of afrofuture sounds at Dakar's Charly Bar on May 15. The party, part of our ongoing collaboration with Nairobi’s Electrafrique, will feature beat-heavy sets from Cortega, Senegalese deep house producer Don Dazy and Dakar-based afro-house spinner DJ Psyle. As a teaser for the Dakar show, as well other upcoming Okayafrica Electrafrique dates across Africa, DJ Cortega has put together a high-octane mix of tracks that have been on heavy rotation in his recent sets. Stream Cortega's okayafrica | electrafrique (may 2015 mix) below and get to know more about the Dakar party DJs below. Check out all the additional info for the party in the flyer above.

DJ Cortega. The driving force behind Electrafrique, Cortega has been bringing a rich blend of contemporary African dance music — from mzansi house to kuduro, afrobeats, soukous, and coupé décalé — to dancefloors across the bright continent and beyond. His sets draw inspiration from all corners of Africa and its diaspora.

Don Dazy. After a stint in Canada where he dove deep into the house scene, Don Dazy returned to his native Senegal, where he's been a pioneer on the deep and afro house front under Dakar's famed Stars & Heroes label. He's now turning an increasing amount of attention to production, drawing from Senegalese rhythms and instrumentation, and keeping with the light, breezy, at times Balearic, touch of his DJ sets.

DJ Psyle. One of Dakar's early adopters of afro-house music, Psyle has quickly joined the Electrafrique fam in Dakar, carrying on the legacy of Tchoub Tchoub, who's recently made a move to southern France in search of new live and musical adventures.

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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