Alsarah is a Sudanese born singer-songwriter and ethnomusicologist.
Alsarah & The Nubatones was born out of many dinner conversations between Alsarah between Alsarah and Rami El Aasser about Nubian ‘Songs Of Return’, modern migration patterns and the cultural exchanges between Sudan and Egypt. Under the leadership of Alsarah and with a common love for the richness of pentatonic sounds their sound grew into what they have dubbed ‘East-African Retro-Pop’. Signed to Wonderwheel Recordings, their debut album ‘Silt’ was released to international acclaim in 2014 and their sophomore release ‘Manara’ topped the ‘2016 Best of Lists’.
Alsarah’s star quality and expressive live performances with her quartet, The Nubatones, have been steadily amassing fans including The Roots’ Questlove with their spellbinding and eclectic East African retro-pop.
“Alsarah & The Nubatones unlock African past in ‘Soukara’ video” – Spin
“Alsarah, the new star of Nubian Pop “ – The Guardian
"The music she's created in the U.S borrows the scintillating plyrythms and snaking melodies of Sudan, but she and her sharp band energize it with dashes of funk and hip hop, finding clear pathways from Nubia to New York."Chicago Reader
"Manara features original content and serves as a contemporary look at Alsarah's world now." – The Fader
"The beauty of the artists and the natural world in the perfect harmony." – Afropunk
"In contemplative ballads or springy, danceable tunes, her music was transparent."The New York Times
“The entire album is thoughtfully composed, tempos change and bridges emerge just as songs might start to sound repetitive (they don’t). Unlike a lot of ‘diaspora albums’, nothing about Silt feels gimmicky. There are some gorgeous interludes between tracks and a few worthwhile remixes tacked on at the end” – Beacon Reader
Australia, New Zealand and Southern Africa Bookings via Akum Agency
Aus/Whatsapp: +61 431 997 025
Moz: +258 84 433 4432
RSA: +27 79 162 3138
Alsarah & The Nubatones - Ya Watan [Official Video]
Alsarah & The Nubatones - Habibi Taal [Official Video]
Alsarah & The Nubatones - 3roos Elneel [Official Video]
Alsarah & The Nubatones - Soukura [Official Video]
Alsarah & The Nubatones: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert
Blitz the Ambassador
Blitz the Ambassador (Ghana/USA)
Blitz the Ambassador is a musician, composer and filmmaker born in Accra, Ghana.
With a vision that embraces his personal West African past and a revolutionary future of Afropolitan cross-pollination, Blitz the Ambassador meshes African popular sounds of afro-beat, high-life with American vintage soul, hip-hop and hard-hitting beats and with rapid fire conscious lyrics.
Blitz has an enviable back catalogue of studio albums under his belt – released all via his own label Embassy MVMT: Stereotype (2009), Native Sun (2011), and most recently, the ambitious Afropolitan Dreams (2014) which featured collaborations with Angelique Kidjo, Nneka, Just A Band, Seun Kuti and more. Blitz is currently finishing up his new album Diasporadical, which is due out in 2016.
On stage Blitz with his band “The Embassy Ensemble” deliver one of the best live shows going round, with a blazing horn section , hard-hitting beats and vintage bass-lines – all laying the foundation for the charismatic frontman to deliver rapid fire lyrics.
He has performed at some of the world's biggest music festivals including Roskilde (Denmark), Solidays (France), Mawazine (Morocco) and Sauti za Busara (Zanzibar) sharing the stage with the likes of The Roots, Sting, and Public Enemy.
"Ghana’s golden wonder, Blitz The Ambassador, has unleashed the last visual from his Diasporadical Trilogia effort...As one of the most engaging, dynamic and self-assured performers in the business — Blitz bridges the gap between Americana and African musicianship." - Okayplayer
"Ghanaian-American MC Blitz the Ambassador is no rookie to the hip-hop and AfroBeat scenes. For years, his unique sound and powerful lyrics have touched fans from continents across the globe and received accolades from the likes of Chuck D and Talib Kweli." – Vibe
Bongeziwe Mabandla has created a matchless Afro-folk sound, over which his soulful voice delivers in both Xhosa and English. Influenced by artists like Tracy Chapman, Simphiwe Dana, Jabu Khanyile and Oliver Mtukudzi, his sound has a rhythmically grass-roots vibe, while fusing elements of traditional Xhosa music, Mbaqanga, Soul, Hip-hop and Dub.
Bongeziwe has performed some of the biggest festivals in South Africa including Cape Town World Music Festival, Oppikoppi and Rocking the Daisies, as well as Sakifo Festival in Reunion and Azgo Festival in Mozambique. His debut album Umlilo, received two nominations at the South African Music Awards 2013, for Best Newcomer and Best Adult African album categories.
2014 was been a big year for Bongeziwe Mabandla with his perfect blend of urban-African folk, heartfelt lyrics and honest delivery, seeing him take to the stage in Australia at the Australasian Worldwide Music Expo and the Mullumbimby Music Festival, Germany at Africa Festival, in Paris at Festival d’lle de France, at the renowned Primavera Sound Festival in Spain, at Sukiyaki Meets the World Festival in Japan. He took part in the One Beat program in the USA, an incubator for music-based social entrepreneurship where innovative musicians from around the world launch collaborative projects designed to make a positive impact on local and global communities. At home in South Africa he has collaborated with Joss Stone and Vieux Farka Toure on their South African tours.
2015 saw Bongeziwe play extensive run of shows across the globe; including a headline spot at Bushfire Festival in Swaziland, a comprehensive Canadian tour playing Nuits d' Afrique, Vancouver Folk Music Festival, Mission Folk Festival, Canmore Folk Festival and a second Australian tour including Woodford Folk Festival and Sydney Festival.
In the five years that have passed since Umlilo’s release, he’s amplified his already considerable gifts, with tours to Australia, Asia and Canada, appearances at several international and national festivals and an invigorated approach to songwriting that’s adding elements of spirituality and forward-looking creativity to his unique musical mix. The result of all of this is Mabandla’s second album – the first through a new deal with Universal Music. Titled Mangaliso (meaning “marvel” or “miracle”), it’s a worldclass record that confirms he’s among the most purposeful and gifted artists working in South Africa today. Among the highlights are first single, “Ndokulandela”, a hypnotic song that showcases Mabandla’s meditative, yet powerful, voice, “Bawo Wam” which carries with it the spirit of the ancient on a song built around a distinctively modern beat-heavy groove and “Khaya”, a track that reveals Mabandla’s guitarwork as among the most lyrical South Africa has produced.
Mangaliso was produced by Tiago Correia Paulo (Tumi and the Volume; 340ml) who also features, along with Mike Wright (Zebra & Giraffe), in the live band that will be touring with Mabandla during 2017.
Estère is a girl with an MPC she calls Lola. With Lola, Estère samples and records a mixture of bass, synth, drums, guitar, vocal harmonies, kazoo, cutlery drawers and anything else that tickles her fancy then layers the production with pulsating rhythms and evocative melodies that adhere to her own genre dubbed - Electric Blue Witch-Hop.
Onstage Estère is joined by a number of different mechanical personalities that she terms her ' machine band'. Together they create a unique high energy showcase of what happens when music mixes with the imagination.
Drawing inspiration from the evolution of reptiles, imaginary boyfriends and cultural identity amongst many other things, Estère delivers her songs with a voice that has been described as rich toned and elastic.
Acclaimed as being a one-of-a-kind performer, Estère’s reputation for exciting, playful performances has seen her open for international artists including Erykah Badu, Flume, Kitty Daisy & Lewis, Aloe Blacc, Morcheeba, Baths, Ikonika, KT Tunstall and has put her on international stages in cities and festivals through-out Australia, South Korea, Denmark, New Caledonia, UK and Europe.
In April 2014, Estère released her debut self produced album which was featured on various international blogs including Afro Punk, Disco Naiveté and Portals.
2016 was a big year for Estère, with be tours Australia, Southern Africa and Europe and the release of her first single 'Ambition', from her second album which will be released in 2017.
"With a velvet smooth voice that has already drawn comparisons with Erykah Badu (with the charm of Lianne La Havas) she sang live, sampled her own voice and spun loops through Lola... With her colourful, soulful voice and ability to produce effortlessly, Estère Dalton is definitely not an artist to sleep on." Aclaim Magazine
"Young Kiwi Estere was also a wonder. The Wellington-based singer's unique sound, style and dance moves, reminiscent of Solange or Erykah Badu, make her one to watch."The Age
Inna Modja is a musician, songwriter, and visual artist from Mali. She grew up between Accra and Bamako where she was born. After learning her craft with artists like Salif Keita, and Rail Band of Bamako, she relocated to Europe where her solo career took off. With her unique style, mixing Desert Blues and Hiphop, she’s now one of the most important Malian contemporary artists on the international scene.
Following the success of her first two albums, Everyday is a New World and Love Revolution, Inna’s priority was to go back to her roots and work on a more intimate and personal album. She recorded Motel Bamako between Bamako, Paris and London, collaborating with mythical Malian artists such as Cheik-Tidiane Seck and Oumou Sangare. She succeeded in capturing her roots, as when we listen to Motel Bamako, we find ourselves in the heart of Mali.
Inna, as a « female genital mutilation » survivor, is also a very committed artist & activist for Women’s Rights. She’s been standing up against Women abuse for almost a decade now. In the song, Tombouctou she denounces the crisis in the North of Mali with the help of electro loops and guitar riffs, led by a proud rap in Bambara. The video for was directed by Marco Conti Sikic & Inna Modja and filmed in the studio of Malick Sidibe, the legendary late Malian photographer.
Motel Bamako is a voyage that mixes Sahel Blues, Electronic music and Hip-Hop.
“Strong message, poignant lyrics mixed with a flawless groove.”LES INROCKS
“Hard-hitting and sensual, deeply committed to social justice, but with a natural pop flair, the bad girl of Malian French Pop.”DAILY MIRROR
Hypnotic...sultry...vulnerable...empowering. These words come to mind when first experiencing the music of Jojo Abot, the Ghanaian singer-songwriter who is poised to capture the ears of discerning listeners worldwide with her experimental blend of electronica, afrobeat, jazz, neo-soul, house and reggae.
Creating across continents and dividing her time between Accra, Copenhagen and New York City, Jojo Abot's emergence onto the global music scene marks the genesis of an exciting new talent and sound. Presenting the best of multiple worlds, Jojo Abot's music is truly a cultural and musical sonic fusion, a perfect and growing melting pot...
JOJO ABOT is a Ghanaian artist expressing herself through music, film/photography, literature and performance art. FYFYA WOTO, meaning New Birth - New Discovery serves as the theme and title for her ongoing project exploring the SELF as a provocative tool in the discovery, exchange and evolution of the subject of IDENTITY. Through her work, Abot Investigates new forms of spirituality and expression as part of a growing global conversation around shared space and share identity that exists beyond the conventional bias of colour, race, class or sexual orientation.
Currently in NYC as a member of New Museum's incubator program, NEW INC, Abot is also on tour with a supporting slot on the incredible legend, Ms Lauryn Hill's tour with a recent show at Radio City Music Hall along with Common. Having played at iconic venues such as the Apollo Theater, Kennedy Center and Kings Theater along with Global FEST and NYC Summerstage, Abot continues to connect with the global audience. She was recently listed in “OkayAfrica’s 100 Women” (March 2017).
A true cultural fusion and genre bender in both sound and artistic expression, Jojo Abot is poised to take the world by storm with her uniquely coined AFRO-HYNO-SONIC sound and otherworldly perspective.
Latinaotearoa is a latin-funk soul & hiphop outfit that has been on the uprise in land of the long white cloud, New Zealand. Their distinct flavor is a brew of three recognizable musical talents in the music scene downunder.
Brazilian born Auckland DJ Bobby Brazuka and Venezuelan singer Jennifer Zea created a unique live performance with Bobby’s Latin influenced soul-funk and hip hop selections layered with Jennifer’s ravishing vocals.
Add to the mix live horns and percussion, together they create a unique and truly legitimate Latin act with a local flavour, both bending and blending the traditional music of their homelands with the modern sounds of here and now.
From South America to Aotearoa and all across the globe, this fiery outfit delivers an energetic and exciting set for anyone lucky enough to see them perform.
Press: "A unique approach to shimmering musical settings is particularly evident on Pina Colada and Oye Como Suenan, vocalist Zea is a ravishing revelation and Brazuka the brains and body behind the rhythm. Magnifico." Stuff
Maia & the Big Sky (Kenya - Nairobi / Australia - Melbourne)
Maia represents a vibrant new colour to Kenya's contemporary musical landscape. Born and raised in Nairobi, Maia's sound weaves funk, folk & jazz all sprinkled with Swahili spice. Her enigmatic shows range from solo acoustic soul, to high-energy dance-laden sets accompanied by her full band.
Her songs sing of love, life, new political horizons in Kenya, the plight of women across the world, and personal introspections of both the joy and solitude in not belonging to any single culture or community.
Maia has shared the stage with artists such as Keziah Jones, James Blunt, Habib Koite, Thandiswe, and Mafikizolo, and has toured in the USA, UK and East Africa. Festival performances have included Africa Utopia (UK), HIFA (Zimbabwe), Sauti za Busara (Zanzibar), Blankets & Wine (Kenya), Visa for Music (Morocco) and Mafrika Music Festival(NYC).
She has earned herself two African Academy Awards for her song 'Uko Wapi' and is releasing her second album, Maia & The Big Sky, end of 2016.
Maia is currently co-directing her first feature length documentary, The Letter, which is a musical journey into the history and culture of the Kenyan coast, exploring the issues of inter-generational conflict between young people and elders.
What the Press say:
"Maia fuses her musical influences like a lounge chameleon". -The Guardian, UK
"Her tunes bring a new sense of chill to the African music scene". -Okayafrica
"The songbird who causes ripples whenever she performs". -The Standard, Kenya
"She tells stories from deep within, be it about the tragic bomb blast in Uko Wapi or a simple feel good song like Guava Tree". -The Bar
Management: Chris King E: email@example.com
Bookings: Kitt Ross E: firstname.lastname@example.org M: AUS +61 450 915 341 / UK +44 7967 108831
Lola - Maia & The Big Sky [MUSIC VIDEO]
Maia - Pawa LIVE @ Cool Waters Jazz&Roots
Maia - Shatembea LIVE @ Cool Waters Jazz&Roots
Seeing Blue - Maia & The Big Sky LIVE @ ZINC BAR NYC
Maia Lekow on BBC Focus on Africa
Majiwa’s style is defined by syncopating soulful multilingual vocals to his rhythmic acoustic guitar. Incorporating elements of roots, reggae, jazz, the freedom of Latin rhythms, the soul of soul and the spirit of Benga into a free-flowing soulful sound.
Singer-songwriter Louis Majiwa has landed from outer space right where he needs to be, just between Memo and Julian. His rhythmic acoustic guitar style, leaking melodies between his teeth with raw caramel honey dipped vocal tones melting hearts wherever he goes.
Julian Guzman is a multi instrumental percussionist from Girardot, Colombia, specialised in Latin percussion, cajon, bongos, traditional Colombian guacharaca and guiro. With delicate and well-placed rhythms, Julian is the heartbeat of the band, sometimes a flutter, others times thunder.
Emiliano Beltzer aka Memo is a bassist and guitarist from Argentina. He picked up the bass at 18 and has never looked back. Memo has recorded and toured extensively in Argentina before relocating to Melbourne. Memo joined Majiwa adding new layers of Latin rhythms and depth to the free flowing landscape, which the band crafts on the Melbourne music scene. When not playing with Majiwa, you can catch him keeping the beat funky and soulful with acts such as Amaru Tribe, Santa Taranta, Funkalleros and the Cumbia Killers.
Either in solo or trio mode, Majiwa is a fresh new voice to keep an eye out for.
Ata Tukibaki taken from the 'Imagine' EP released in 2014.
The Brother Moves On
The Brother Moves On (South Africa)
The ghost inside the magic, the stranglers of an innocent idea of bringing performance art to its knees through costume, music and storytelling... The Brother Moves On have created a genre of music that is truly their own Music Of Black Origin, no one show is ever the same as their tear up the stage and captivate their audience.
The Brother Moves On [abbreviated as TBMO] is a South African performance art ensemble from Johannesburg, Gauteng. The group was founded somewhere between the years 2008 and 2010 by broad-based artist Nkululeko Mthembu and his brother Siyabonga Mthembu. TBMO began as a self-proclaimed art movement mainly of graphic and fine artists and since began incorporating instrumentalists for the live performance environment. The TMBO sound is a tradition-trouncing trans-Atlantic Afro-centric futuristically ancient fusion that jack knifes between offworld spectral dub-metal, hyperrhythmic rock psychedelia, indie-township and astro-afro-free-jazz.
Taking a cue from that other “Brother From Another Planet” Sun Ra they embrace a multi-genre, multimedia aesthetic, re-challenging hip-hop’s five pillars (MCing, DJing, B-boying and graffiti writing) into a conceptechnic performance art project that incorporates historical, political, and sociological perspectives. The band notoriety has earned them representation by The Goodman Gallery one of South Africa’s biggest commercial galleries as a performance art collective, a first for South Africa’s live music scene. Having released three DIY EP’s and two DIY albums the band are busy with their first industry album due out in 2017.
“a lively and highly expressive hybrid that spans rock, Xhosa funk, jazz, folk, electronic, dance, spoken word – all labels they hate, by the way, as labels restrict – they prefer to think of themselves as post-genre. Their music is neither black nor white, but clearly rooted in South Africa, feeding off the country's unique political history” – The Guardian UK, Siji Jabbar
“The mastery of their instruments is incredible, moments of virtuoso technical ability are accompanied by a direct connection to some sort of power higher or otherwise. A religious experience. Sacred. A culmination of well curated combinations are streamlined into a central theme or body. Inventive, one of the only bands I have ever seen or heard that truly could deserve the label of unique.“Underground Press, Nathan May
“You will be changed forever after you have witnessed the potent, political musical force and dervish spirit of The Brother Moves On live on stage.” City Press, Lloyd Gedye
“To put it plainly, The Brother Moves On represent possibly one of the most important young South African perspectives we’ve yet to hear. Their work, part musical and part performance art, confronts and soothes at the same time, never fearing the political dimensions, with a message that encourages political consciousness and authenticity. The Brother Moves On is the most important band in this country.”Platform Magazine, Andy Petersen.
The Brother Moves On - Shiyanomayini [Official Music Video]
The Brother Moves On - iMfene [Live, Sofar Johannesburg]
The Brother Moves On ft. Shabaka Hutchings - Kude Leee [Live, Sofar London]
True Vibenation (Australia)
Blending earth-shattering bass, big brass, African rhythms and hip-hop, True Vibenation signal a new generation of artists making the music of true global citizens.
Drawing from their African heritage and raised in the cultural migrant melting pot of Australia their sound takes influence in equal parts from Fela Kuti, Hugh Masekela and The Daptone Horns as it does from Outkast, Ta-Ku and Chet Faker.
Made up of Zimbabwean/Australian twins Vuli and Moody and childhood friend Klue, the trio has developed a reputation for an electric live show, taking them to some of the worlds finest festivals including: Glastonbury Festival (UK), Woodford Folk Festival (Aus), HIFA (Zim), Bushfire Festival (SWZ) and they’ve been handpicked to support acts such as Ozomatli and Theivery Corporation on their recent Australian tours.
Their latest single the “The World Is Ours”, peaked at #1 on Spotify’s Viral chart for the UK and #4 globally. 2017 is shaping up to be a big year with a new album set for release and return tours to Europe and Southern Africa.
What the Press say:
" Their sound seamlessly blends electronic music with the raw energy of a live band. Their eclectic sound and magnetic stage presence, coupled with a collective inability to stand still at any given moment, created an infectious energy that got the 2,000-strong crowd, as the old stupid cliché goes, to dance like no-one was watching.”Scenestr, Australia
"The enthusiastic Afro-Australian trio prides themselves of on DIY process that enables them to fuse an array of soundscapes inspired by Latin-beats, house music, synths, live instrumentation, and even hip-hop.” Afropunk
"They brought the house down with their moving beats and rhymes blending elements of Afro-beat, dub step, soul and electronic music to create an infectious sound which kept fans on their feet."Parade, Zimbabwe
"Aussie record label Big Village provided some of their finest for the night in the form of True Vibenation. It was my first time seeing these guys after hearing great things and from the moment they began I instantly became a fan."Chris Singh, The AU Review
"The diversity of material, easy stage presence, and sheer musicality was on display for all to see, these guys have got mad skills, the skyʼs the limit.... these guys are the complete package, combining effortless flows with a full on ʻliveʼ show."Piri Rutherford, OrangePress