The EDO FUNK Explosion Vol. 1 compilation focuses on the greatest pioneers of this highlife music hybrid, which appeared at the dawn of the 80s.
It was in Benin City, in the heart of Edo State in south-western Nigeria, that a new and intoxicating subgenre of highlife was born: Edo funk. It is no coincidence that it appeared in the former kingdom of Benin in the late 1970s. Musicians of Edo culture began to fuse highlife with new sounds from West African nightclubs. The musician whose role it was to channel this energy was Sir Victor Uwaifo, who added synthesizers and crazy electric guitars to contribute a spicy infusion of psychedelic notes. Edo funk was born.
Other pioneers of the genre appear on the compilation alongside Uwaifo, including Akaba Man and Osayomore Joseph. The latter was the first to bring the sound of the flute to Edo funk, not afraid to denounce government corruption or confront Nigeria’s dark colonial past. Less overtly political than Osayomore Joseph and less psychedelic than Victor Uwaifo, Akaba Man found his own philosophy through rhythms flooded with cosmic synthesizers and more personal lyrics. His success, at the dawn of the 80s, made him an ambassador of funk highlife.
What united these various musicians was their ability to strip funk of its essence and use it as the basis for their own excursions into the heart of Edo culture. The twelve tracks of the first volume of Edo Funk Explosion deliver a unique funky experience.
1. Osayomore Joseph And The Creative Seven – Africa Is My Root
2. Akaba Man & The Nigie Rokets – Ta Gha Hunsimwen
3. Akaba Man And The African Pride – Popular Side
4. Sir Victor Uwaifo And His Titibitis – Iranm Iran
5. Sir Victor Uwaifo And His Titibitis – Sakpaide No.2
6. Akaba Man & The Nigie Rokets – Ta Ghi Rare
7. Osayomore Joseph – My Name Is Money
8. Akaba Man & The Nigie Rokets – Ogbov Omwan
9. Sir Victor Uwaifo And His Titibitis – Aibalegbe
10. Osayomore Joseph And The Ulele Power Sound – Who No Man
11. Sir Victor Uwaifo And His Titibitis – Obviemama
12. Osayomore Joseph And The Ulele Power Sound – Ororo No De Fade
The compilation EDO FUNK Explosion Vol. 1 will be released on March 26 via Analog Africa.
In his new single “Brother Remix,” a resolutely pan-African track, Amen Viana dazzles us with positive vibes from Guadeloupe, Switzerland and Togo.
Accompanied by the Togolese King Mensah, the Guadeloupeans Florence Naprix and Stefan Filey, and also by the Swiss musician Bholoja, the Togolese artist insists on the values of fraternity, with his new track, entitled “Brother.” In his clip, the sadness as well as the loneliness of lockdown seems symbolized by the empty and silent streets. Nevertheless, the magic of the choreography and rhythm quickly change the tone, with the incorporation of many artists, such as the Romanian violinist Alina Horez and the German saxophonist Julian Ritter, as well as dancers. The objective of this single is to provide hope during the health crisis, picturing artists having fun through singing or playing instruments at home.
Yet, Amen Viana didn’t wait for the pandemic to share his positive vibes! Indeed, this singer and guitarist has become more and more known over the years in Togo, but also in West Africa. Now living in France, he has played with the Beninese Angélique Kidjo, the American group, the Black Eyed Peas, the Malian legend Cheick Tidiane Seck, the French Indila and the iconic Nigerian drummer Tony Allen. The music of the guitarist Amen Viana reminds us of the rock melodies of Jimi Hendrix. Having already released five albums, he is currently preparing The Afrocanalyst, which was recorded during his travels and co-directed by the Ghanaian Kwamé Yeboah.
Legendary Balaka-based musician, Paul Banda, is unwell and in urgent needs around K30m to get specialist treatment in India.
Nyasa Times has learnt that soft spoken Banda, who is fondly referred to as Sir Paul for his music prowess, started struggling with hypertension in 2014 which later led to a stroke. But, fortunately, he fully recovered in March this year.
Charles Sinetre, one of Sir Paul's mentees and chairperson of a team called Get Well Soon Club, said health experts suspected that Banda's present ailment could have been triggered by the strong medication to his hypertension and stroke problems.
"When we consulted around, we were told that Sir Paul needs not less than K20 million and not more than K30 million to travel outside the country for specialist treatment. For now, we will be holding various gigs across the country to fundraise for the great man, but all Malawians are welcome to contribute towards the cause," said Sinetre.
"We are delighted that people have already started making deposits to the Get Well Soon Club FDH account which we have created. Malawians can do the same by making their contributions to FDH Bank Account Name: Get Well Soon Club, Account Number: 1230000176191, Balaka Branch. We also have Airtel and Mpamba accounts on the following numbers 0999196912 and 0882236082 respectively," said Sinetre.
Sir Paul Banda, a singer and a guitarist, and brother to another legendary musician and politician Lucius Banda, rose to stardom when he and his Alleluya Band performed before Pope John Paul II during his pontifical visit to Malawi in 1989.
He has also contributed massively to music and creative industry in the country by, among others, setting up his Balaka-based Imbirani Yahweh (IY) Studios.