Category Archives: Music

Tuned in to the Sounds of…Burna Boy

An artist that’s been getting alot of spins at the SUPAFRIK HQ is Burna Boy from Port Harcourt, Nigeria. With his effortless fusion of Jamaican patois with Nigerian pidgin and dancehall and house with hip-hop and highlife, it’s no surprise why’s been pegged by many tastemakers as the next artist to make a big splash on the African music scene.
Unlike most artists of his generation, Burna is not afraid to sometimes incorporate live musicians play a big part in his performances (No big surprise there. His grandfather was Fela Kuti’s longtime manager) Even if your New Year’s Eve was a low key affair, you can live vicariously through Burna Boy’s video for his feel good smash single “Like to Party” (produced by the talented Leriq) above and his latest  house-tinged release for 2013, “Tonight” below:

SUPAFRIK #4 [DC Edition] Launch event and programming

The traveling SUPAFRIK pop-up shop/gallery is making its U.S. debut in Washington, D.C. from October 18th – October 21st, 2012. The opening night launch event on Thursday includes a fashion show featuring Toronto label Chinedesign‘s newest collection: “Marrakesh” making an exclusive world premier in DC and accesories by Ann & Arayata. And, performing new music from her upcoming third studio album, Grammy nominated singer/songwriter and DC native Wayna. Continue reading

Tonight (Thursday). AFTER HOURS | Party and Buy Sh*t!

If you happen to be in downtown Toronto tonight(Thursday) for the launch of the film festival or for the city’s first Fashion’s Night Out, come check us out at the “After Hours” party (and buy sh*t) we’ll be throwing with Sauvage (inside their shoe boutique at 639 Queen St W), photographer Raissa Biscotti and DJ Dirty Dale. 6PM – 11PM. Great shopping and complementary wine and beer while quantities last. Who could resist? p.s. TIFF is in town so you never know who you might see coming out of the changing room. See ya!

On Now: Afrocubism at Luminato (Free!)

On a recent trip to Havana, Cuba we had the opportunity to attend an intoxicating Sunday rumba session at Callejon de La Hamel. Walking down this backstreet alleyway was like stumbling into a portal that leads to Africa. The music, the percussion instruments, the dances and the orisha religion (most practitioners have come to reject the Santeria label) were all strongly rooted in the continent. However, this influence has never been one sided. This cultural dialogue has been going on for a while.  Cuban music at one point was the most trendy and influential “international” music in Africa and you can still hear that latin influence in African music today.

Grammy nominated Afrocubism is a group that fuses the sounds of Cuba and Africa by uniting musicians from Cuba and Mali.  This supergroup was apparently the impetus behind the wildly successful Buena Vista Social Club – in fact both groups share some of the same players. These types of groups tend to sound great on paper but forced in execution. Afrocubism manages to sidestep the jinx by simply letting the players play around within overlapping musical motifs from both cultures. The Kora (West African harp) sounds perfectly at ease gliding over son and guaracha rhythms from Cuba. You can check out the studio clip below or better yet if you’re in Toronto you can see them live tonight! They are playing for free as part of Luminato in Toronto. 9PM. 55 John Street. Free!

Bonus: Malian songstress Fatoumata Diawara is also performing at 8PM.

Coming Soon: Fela Musical in Toronto!

Last summer, we caught the amazing Fela musical on Broadway and looked on with envy as the show traveled from New York to Lagos to London. We were sure Toronto would be overlooked for a while but we are happy to announce that we were wrong! On October 25th, Fela! makes its Toronto debut at the Canon Theater. Directed by Bill T. Jones and featuring a stellar cast and an air-tight afrobeat band, the production has racked up 11 Tony nominations and won numerous awards. Fela! uses Kuti’s politically charged and sometimes personal songs to tell the story of the man behind the music.  We don’t think you have to be a fan of Fela’s music to enjoy this play but for Fela aficionados it is really a treat to watch these songs come alive on stage.  The production only runs till November 6th and we’ve been told tickets are selling out fast. Use the “BAND50” promotional code on the flyer below to receive discounted $25 and $50 seats (full price is $35 to $130). Get them RIGHT now and thank us later.

Out Now: Ian Kamau’s “One Day Soon”

If you are steeped in the hip-hop or spoken word scene of Toronto, you have probably seen Ian Kamau perform, heard one of his songs, read one of his poems or at the very least heard of him. Even if you’ve never been to Toronto, you might be familiar with his work from the time he toured the globe with K-OS or appeared on some of his albums as the lone guest emcee. Perhaps you’ve come across Kamau from the time he has spent travelling and working with communities from Sao Paola, Brazil to Accra, Ghana. However it is that you came across his work, you were definitely left with no doubt that he has a way with words. A “natural” so to speak.  Continue reading

Tapfuma the Soul Shyfta

I met Tapfuma the Soul Shyfta about 7 or 8 years ago when we were both students at the University of Toronto. Since we were both passionate about music it was inevitable that we would eventually work together. The first song I produced for him was titled “Rules of Survival” and featured his twin brother Tatenda singing on the hook. We started working on a second song called “Arrow” but we never got around to finishing it because he picked up and left Toronto to do social work in South Africa. What was supposed to be a year’s hiatus slowly turned into five and we all but lost contact. Continue reading