Film

"Africa’s First Afrobeat Dance Movie" Is Coming Soon

The filmmakers behind "Africa’s first afrobeat dance movie" look to showcase Lagos' best underground dance moves and raise diabetes awareness

Source: tdmpthemovie.com


There's a new Nigerian dance movie on the way.

The team behind the forthcoming comedy-drama The Dance Movie Project, or #TDMP, call their film the first of its kind. "Africa's first afrobeat dance movie," to be specific. And the filmmakers aren't just determined to showcase some of the best underground moves in Lagos–they also hope to raise awareness around diabetes and its impact on the continent. (As a diabetic myself, this certainly caught my eye).

Directed by Idahosa Osagie and produced by Alexander “Lexx” Ore, the movie tells the story of two Nigerian dancer brothers, Femi and Wale. As explained in a press release:

“The Dance Movie Project (TDMP) follows two brothers who despite the disapproval of their single mother, continue to chase their passion for dance in Lagos, Nigeria. The lives of the brothers take an unexpected turn for the worst, when their ailing mother is diagnosed with diabetes. As the brothers scramble to find options to save her life, the largest national dance competition in Nigeria’s history is announced with a lucrative prize pool. The brothers alongside their dance crew decide to embark on a journey to compete in the national dance championship.”

The filmmakers tell us #TDMP is slated to play in cinemas across the African continent beginning in May 2016. Until then, watch the film's trailer below.

Keep up with #TDMP on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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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