Event Recap by GlobalFest:
Last Friday the gF Hangout team headed to MIST Harlem on 116th Street to get a taste of fresh artists in the city’s African music scene at the Afrojam Showcase. Afrojam is a creative platform that presents and promotes artists all across the African diaspora from any genre. Founded in 2003 by Vincent Nwachukwu, Afrojam produces events to highlight up and coming artists and serves as a resource to find out about new artists making waves in African music.
The event got off to a late start but the combination of the hilarious Zambian MC, Bawo, and DJ Eli Fola’s catch Afrobeats spinning, the crowd warmed up and made the intimate gathering feel like an exlusive community event. Rapper Hoox kicked us off and was followed by the fierce Eliza B’s powerful spoken word performance. After Eliza’s show Vincent, the Afrojam CEO and Founder, generously invited gF team member Meera Dugal, to the stage to speak about globalFEST. Meera then interviewed Vincent and Eli on the origins of Afrojam and the need for a space to showcase young artists of the diaspora. Eli also hipped the crowd to the Afrobeats trend he’s passionate about which mixes house, funk and pop. Though the showcase was framed as a celebration for the Independence Days of 4 African countries, Nigeria was representing in full force when hip hop artist AYOINMOTION took the stage and really got the party started. Somewhere in between Kanye West and Fela Kuti is a wildly charismatic performer and has opened for the likes of Talib Kweli and Gyptian at places like BAM and The Apollo.
Trusted blogs like OkayAfrica, Afropunk, I Am Afropolitan and Afropop bring us news on Afro-(insert style) musics it was exciting to take a trip into the Afrojam community and feel out what’s new right in our backyard. Afrojam is democratic and supports artists at all levels of their careers and it felt special to see these artists that don’t normally come on to our radar. Up next for Afrojam is a music conference happening right before globalFEST on Jan 15th – stay tuned for details on their Facebook page here!