In association with Concerts SA, Afrobeat saxophonist Femi Koya releases his new album, Village Afrobeat, and presents it live on a national tour. Next stops: Durban and Pretoria.
Music composer and performer, versatile saxophonist and dynamic vocalist, Femi Koya released his third album entitled Village Afrobeat (Femzee Productions, 2018) on 20th April.
The Village Afrobeat national album release tour commenced in Cape Town in May. Now at the end of July, the tour hits Durban – with performances at The Chairman and Jazzy Rainbow. And Gauteng, where Village Afrobeat lights up African Beer Emporium.
Born in Nigeria and based in South Africa, Femi Koya is the new face of the African Renaissance. He combines West African highlife and jazz, South African Sophiatown with nostalgic Afrobeat root sounds and his music is a rich blend of deep and sultry Afrobeat and contemporary groove.
“I believe that Africa will have its true homecoming when people see themselves as first and foremost African. Until then I will continue to make music suggestive of this homecoming and what the future holds for Africans united. It is our destiny”, says Femi Koya.
Femi’s new album is an African party, jazzed up with Afrobeat’s horn arrangements, with talking drum and percussions driving the African heartbeat. Songs such as Babalawo, Lerato, Alo and Kongo enable new generations to understand the significance of these narratives as well as providing a nostalgic look at village culture and its life lessons.
Femi says: “These songs tell stories of what happens in villages and especially in fables, with animals like the tortoise, the role of the town criers, village men and women as part of the whole village lifestyle. The songs also depict nature, fertility, rituals, change of seasons and traditions essential to village life.”
Femi Koya will be touring nationally with his 9-piece Afrobeat ensemble, presenting Village Afrobeat in the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. The band is comprised of Femi Koya on sax and vocals, Maxwell Baloyi on keyboards, Olusegun Oyedele on talking drum, Peter Adesola on trombone, Karo Ndoite on guitar, Seun Adebari on drums, Felix Arimoro on flugelhorn, Lanre Kununji on trumpet and Gabriel Atabe on bass.
The musical influences that can be found in Village Afrobeat include Fela Kuti, Bob Marley, Manu Dibango, Hugh Masekela and Baaba Maal. About the title of the album, Femi says: “Some say Africa is a village. I say let us then unite Africans through the metaphor of a village. Some say we are going back to our roots, Africa. I carry my root along with me into the future”.
Released on 20th April 2018, the Village Afrobeat album is available in digital online stores like iTunes, Spotify and Amazon. Physical CDs can be bought at Musica and CNA. Copies of the new CD will also be on sale at the performances.
Femi Koya Village Afrobeat Tour is supported by Concerts SA through the Music Mobility Fund, a funding mechanism which offers opportunities for South African musicians to undertake live music tours.