Sometimes a track gets played in the Ransom Note office that everyone just wants to hear again and again, not because we all have musical amnesia and need to be reminded what it is we do here, but because it's really, really good. Kudaushe (ft. Kudaushe Matimba) by Afriquoi has been one of those tracks. The vocal melody is so evocatively wistful, the percussion provides a beat that makes your feet just do their own thing, and organic sounds convey the meaning of this project as a means to explore many of the musician's varied heritages in a poignant and beautiful way. Yes, it's worth writing a cheesy sentence like that about it. Fine, if you don't like us being cheesey, how about we write our usual old fare eh? Ok, so, we like biscuits and cats. Cats like cat biscuits too. But biscuits feelings are not generally known. Happy now? No, neither are we.
Afriquoi is a project based in London with musicians of all kinds of backgrounds, influences and experiences. Congo-born guitarist Fiston Lusambo is known affectionately in the group as ‘Papa Fiston’ and Kora player Jally Kebba Suso was born in Gambia into a family of traditional musicians and storytellers of the Manding empire that can trace itself back 74 generations. Born in London of mixed Jamaican, French, Ghanaian and Scottish Heritage, vocalist Andre Espeut was greatly inspired by the acid house sounds he encountered in his youth, whereas percussionist André Marmot grew up listening to garage, drum and bass, hiphop and jazz in London before he started learning West African percussion. Producer, Musical Director and band leader Nico Bentley was a live producer and toured with Seal.
The album Kolaba is coming out 11th September. Safe to say, we're pretty excited about this project!
Pre-order of the album via this link
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