We’ve recently seen that African music has gained global attention around the world, especially in London. What’s the reason for that? Well African music, sound, fashion and art has always been global but it’s just that Europeans are catching up to it now.
On 6th July 2017 here was an event that showcased African culture at The Jazz Café in Camden. Emerald Live calling it Inner City Griot- A Design of The Diaspora; and it supported Kori charity. There was a live painter, DJs and four completely different musicians and a band that made us feel like we were in Africa. As The Red Calabash blog says “exploring London in a more cultural way. It’s for people living in London and want to go back to their roots simultanuesly and expand people’s view positively about other cultures” and Emerald Live did exactly that.
Once you entered, you just immediately started saying “hey, oh, hey, oh” whilst dancing azonto or moving your shoulders slightly to the beat of the music because the DJ was mixing those tunes up… Afrotrap, afrobeat, jazz and elements of dance music. Once you left the music venue, you were back in London, and as people would say sarcastically “this is London”.
Lets start with Silvatone, who is similar to Burna Boy but has his own experimental sound. Next was Cisse Djembe, who gave 120% of their energy, in order to create an incredibly intense performance and everyone felt it. One person said “the vibe was incredible. The way the drums were hitting my chest” and that was true. The audience’s participation in their performance was good and the communication they gave, got the crowd feeling involved.
They tickled my eardrums as I was listening and grooving.
Another act that stood out to the crowd was Afronaut ZU. When I heard the front man’s raspy and gravely voice, which blended excellently with his band, I was shocked. I didn’t think that sound could come out of his mouth, and as I’m from Nigeira and have been to African inspired events in London, that voice was exactly what you would associate with African music. His body language was showing meaning for every word he sang and his band was highlighting the effect of every single note they played.
808INK were two guys, who made Thursday feel like a Friday night. You get what I mean? Hands were up in the air.
The crowd was screaming for excitement and these two showed of their talent in a fearless performance. They were hip-hop duos that put on an engaging performance.
Now, lets not forget this young lady, Elno Art. Is that her stage name? Anyway I was in love. Painting a picture of Fela Kuti?
The idol that started, actually invented Afrobeat. To you guys, Michael Jackson is a music icon. To all Africans, Fela Kuti is the same. To me this was an expression of how brilliant this musician was and that the world knows of him now.
In order for a live performance to be worth attending, to see a band or musician again, they have to provide an extra incentive. Emerald Live did just that.
Written by Dats Muzik, who created The Red Calabash Blog.