Diaphra at Iwalewahaus, Photo by Ves_OFF

This Artist Is Making the Soundtrack Of The Portuguese Revival

Alexandre Francisco on the creative process and the importance of ancestry featured in his new project, EVMS.

In 2015, Bissau-Guinean and Angolan multimedia artist Alexandre Francisco released Diaphra's Blackbook of the Beats, a debut album that would sell out of physical copies. That album was received well by critics and listeners but never really saw a tour and Diaphra disappeared back into the beats just as quickly as he emerged.

Recently, the Portugal-based artist has resurfaced and he's given OkayAfrica an exclusive download of the B-sides to the sold out Blackbook. The project, called EVMS, is like the rebirth of Diaphra, the blank side of a well-worn page, and gives insight into the mind of the elusive artist.

The multimedia artist is now working on his new project: a series of live, interactive performances around the world called #FolhasBrancas (#WhitePages) culminating in an exhibition in 2020. OkayAfrica caught up with Francisco via Skype to chat about the project, his process and how a residency at the Iwalewahaus University of Bayreuth (and their archive of rare African art) made him want to create a new future.

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