Listen Download Podcast
  • RFI English News flash 04h00 - 04h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 12/08 04h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 04h10 - 04h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 12/08 04h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 05h00 - 05h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 12/08 05h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 05h10 - 05h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 12/08 05h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h00 - 06h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 12/08 06h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h10 - 06h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 12/08 06h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h30 - 06h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 12/08 06h30 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h33 - 06h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 12/08 06h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h00 - 07h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 12/08 07h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h30 - 07h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 12/08 07h30 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 12/04 14h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h06 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 12/08 14h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 14h03 - 14h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 12/04 14h03 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h06 - 14h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 12/08 14h06 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h30 - 14h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 12/08 14h30 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h33 - 14h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 12/08 14h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 12/04 16h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h06 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 12/08 16h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h03 - 16h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 12/04 16h03 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h30 - 16h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 12/08 16h30 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h33 - 17h00 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 12/04 16h33 GMT
To take full advantage of multimedia content, you must have the Flash plugin installed in your browser. To connect, you need to enable cookies in your browser settings. For an optimal navigation, the RFI site is compatible with the following browsers: Internet Explorer 8 and above, Firefox 10 and +, Safari 3+, Chrome 17 and + etc.

Antibalas modern take on Afrobeat

Antibalas modern take on Afrobeat
 
DR/www.antibalas.com

Antibalas are an eleven-piece Brooklyn-based Afrobeat band. They formed in 1998 just a year after the death of Fela Kuti. He was the Nigerian musician and political activist who invented Afrobeat.

“We like to say we didn’t invent Afrobeat, but invented with it,” says the band’s founder Martin Perna.

Their music builds on Afrobeat’s fusion of jazz, funk, Nigerian high-life, traditional West Africa rhythms and strong horn-driven percussion.

Antibalas's lead singer and percussionist Abraham Amayo is from Fela Kuti’s neighbourhood in Lagos, Nigeria; an area which plays a key role in that process.

“I’m able to bring a spiritual connection, because I’m from the neighbourhood where the music comes from and also I represent the African trying to experience the West, … the African who’s left his homeland, trying to promote his roots,” Amayo explains.

Antibalas recently came to RFI’s studio 136 where they played from their latest and 5th album Antibalas.

Amayo says the song Him Belly No Go Sweet is an homage to matriarchy.

"It means that if woman’s belly is not sweet, which means if she’s not happy, her counterpart the man will not be happy no matter what he does. So the most important thing is to try and compliment that happiness by making her happy and it’ll be all ok,” says Amayo.

A rather more enlightened view of women than Fela is reputed to have had.

But their denouncing of Wall Street and the sub-prime scandal in the song Dirty Money would not have been out of place in the Fela universe.

“Our money is dirty so it needs to be cleaned up,” says Amayo, who’s banking on Obama sorting that out if he gets re-elected.

You can also hear Antibalas playing a brand new piece called Parata. It means pirate in Spanish, but Amayo denies they’re out to fleece anyone, quite the contrary.

“We’re trying to give back, giving back energy and lost hope. It’s the concept of working as a group, having a common goal, that’s kind of where I see that song.”

More broadly Antibalas sees their take on Afrobeat as a universal music that can pull us onto a higher, less individualistic plane.

“It might represent a gateway for bringing us all back together. I think we’re going back to matriarchy which is a more subtle and more cyclical way of looking at things. We’re trying to represent that and this new era we’re entering”.

Antibalas are currently on tour in Europe.

Antibalas on MySpace


Related

  • World music matters

    Africa is so wealthy, says Elemotho, winner of RFI/France 24 Discoveries music award

    Learn more

  • World music matters

    Staff Benda Bilili rumba the world

    Learn more

  • World music matters

    François Marry and the Atlas Mountains

    Learn more

  • World music matters

    Griot meets jazz on the Paris metro

    Learn more

  • Erik Aliana and Tûki roots

    Erik Aliana and Tûki roots

    Singer-songwriter Erik Aliana talks to RFI about championing the ancestral rhythms of his native Cameroon on his new album Just My Soul.

  • Ariane Gray Hubert, drunk on love

    Ariane Gray Hubert, drunk on love

    Franco-American pianist, singer and composer Ariane Gray Hubert began her musical journey in India 15 years ago. She took her piano 'an alien instrument in India' and …

  • Nawal's Afro Sufi music makes space for silence

    Nawal's Afro Sufi music makes space for silence

    Nawal hails from the Comoros Islands in the Indian Ocean. She's built on her ancestral Afro Sufi roots to create a unique sound, beyond both music and the material world. …

  • Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou, purveyors of Vôdun-afrobeat

    Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou, purveyors of Vôdun-afrobeat

    Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou are one of West Africa’s oldest and most successful bands, masters of Vôdun-inspired afrobeat. Singer and co-founder Vincent …

  • France gets New Orleans' Hot 8 Brass Band vibe

    France gets New Orleans' Hot 8 Brass Band vibe

    The Hot 8 Brass Band are from New Orleans. In the true black music tradition they mix the best of brass with funk, hip hop, heart-on-sleeve sentiment and loads of …

  • Sihasin bring hope to Native American youth through music

    Sihasin bring hope to Native American youth through music

    Sihasin means 'hope' in the Dine'/Navajo language and the sister and brother duo Jeneda and Clayson Benally do their name proud. Currently in Europe with their Sacred …

  • Batuk's pan-African house music

    Batuk's pan-African house music

    Batuk are a South African collective with a post-modern approach to spreading pan-Africanism. Currently touring Europe with music from their debut album Musica de Terra, …

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. ...
  5. next >
  6. last >
Features
 
Sorry but the period of time connection to the operation is exceeded.