Listen to the Afrobeat Playlist Aadae Made Us - Beat Magazine

Listen to the Afrobeat Playlist Aadae Made Us

Peckham local Aadae mixes her British upbringing with her Nigerian heritage on her new single ‘River of Tears’. The track is a “declaration of strength” – check those lyrics “power like a cannonball / hungry like an animal” – that draws on the influence of her parents Yoruba gospel and reggae filled record collection

We asked Aadae to put together a playlist for us and she’s delivered a mix of Afrobeat gems. Here’s what Aadae had to say about her selection, “In the spirit of summer, I thought I’d put together a list of music to match the mood of the weather. So, in no particular order; here are my top Afrobeat tracks.”

Lagbaja – ‘Konko Below’
“Representing for the nu school, Lagbaja’s ‘Konko Below’ is one that will have you will definitely have you shaking yours. Released in 2001 on the ‘We before Me’ album, his bluesy take on Afrobeat accompanied with Yoruba talking drums, creates an exciting blend of rhythm and soul with a splice of jazz sure to keep you rolling them hips!”

Talking Heads – ‘Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On)’
“Yes, they really took it there. Who knew this iconic American New Wave band had so much Afro Funk in them?! The ballsy explosion of polyrhythms on ‘Born Under Punches’, in true Afrobeat fashion, speaks to the dancer in even the shyest soul. Produced by Brian Eno, this track stirs the pot and ups the anti with its infections guitar hooks, rolling basslines, electronic pops and of course unavoidable rhythms.”

Fela Kuti – ‘Lover’
“From the God Father of Afrobeat himself, legend Fela Anikulapo Kuti (aka Fela) gets all romantic on us with ‘Lover’. This track is taken from a new re issue of previously unreleased recordings from Fela’s first band, Koola Lobitos. With its slowed down calypso style grooves and signature horn section, this song has the all the exotic markings of 1960’s Ghanaian Highlife – guaranteed to make you to feel good what ever the weather.”

Wiz Kid – ‘Sweet Love’
“The new offering from Wiz Kid screams Afrobeat and I love it! Stepping outside of Afrobeats, going down the more traditional route, ‘Sweet Love’ sounds how Nigeria feels – hot, fun, colourful and care free. The blend of west African rhythms with Caribbean undertones totally speaks to me.”

Prince Nico Mbarga & Rocafil Jazz International – ‘Sweet Mother’
“Okay so its not strictly Afrobeat. But, a West African party is no party without this Highlife classic! Growing up it was a staple; a permanent fixture, just the way I love it! So, feel free to sing along… Here’s to all the mum’s out there, “Sweet mother, I no go forget you…””

Oumou Sanagre ft Tony Allen – ‘Yere Faga’
“Oumou fly’s the flag for us women as she blesses us with this phenomena track. Teaming up with Afrobeat royalty, drummer Tony Allen, the Wassoulou musician offers an eclectic mix of nu and old school beats and bass. An infectious anthem, ‘Yere Faga’ is definitely up there with the best of them…A modern classic I’d say!”

The Busy Twist – ‘Friday Night’
“Recorded in Ghana, the London/Ghanaian collective Busy Twist invoke feel good Hip Life vibes with this Highlife throwback. Sung in pidgin (West African broken English), this track screams summer with its burbling guitar motifs, warm bass groove, upbeat danceable drum rhythms, rolling percussion all with a splice of analogue House. ‘Friday Night’ is the perfect way to welcome in the weekend!”

King Crimson – ‘Discipline’
“It was only right for me to include this masterpiece from post progressive rock band, King Crimson. ‘Discipline’ schools us in the art of sonic synthesis as Afrobeat is reconceptualised into an exciting tapestry of jazz, prog rock and pop. Interlocking polyrhythms are driven by the pulsing percussion with a seamless array of metallic guitar and bass riffs. Taken from the classic album ‘Discipline’ release in 1981, this track is not for the faint hearted. It is a simulating and intelligent conversation that draws you in and keeps you guessing (in my humble opinion)… So sit back, and be prepared to be wowed.”

King Sunny Ade – ‘Suku Suku Bam Bam’
“Here’s to the pioneer of (what I call) Afro Blues. The first ever West African Grammy Award nominee, icon in his own right, King Sunny Ade. Suku Suku Bam Bam personifies everything Juju music is about. Graced by colourful percussion including Yoruba talking drums, this music is a rich blend of of sweet melodic vocals, Hawaiian style pedal steel guitars, deep soothing electric bass, and mellow vibraphones. Be warned…this textural mesh of hypnotic polyrhythms is highly addictive and will have you hooked!”

Sir Shina Peters – ‘Shinamania Pt.1’
Hailed as Nigeria’s answer to Michael Jackson (and our first taste of Afro Pop as we know it today), I salute Sir Shina Peter for this high energy Afro Juju 80’s classic. The seamless blend of Afrobeat, Juju and 80s synths, (with a melodic cameo of the nursery rhyme, ‘London Bridge is Falling Down’), can only be described as a match made in heaven. After all, sometimes all you wanna do is just dance.”