Sunday, July 20, 2008
Akoya Afrobeat Ensemble brought their gargantuan afrobeat sound to Southpaw last Friday night and turned the packed house into a dancing frenzy. Featuring thirteen musicians from six different countries, Akoya is notorious for bringing insane amounts of energy to their live shows. Friday night, they lived up to their reputation.
Akoya has a diverse array of musical influences and voices that resonate in their live presentation. They accentuate the many different elements Fela incorporated into his original afrobeat sound: a tight, large horn section, beautiful female singers and dancers, multi-layered rhythm section, and a captivating front man singing call and response lyrics.
Lead singer Kaleta, who toured with Fela and Egypt 80, makes a very distinct imprint on the band. He made it into Egypt 80 he as a guitarist, but he's a percussionist and singer in Akoya. The biggest element he brings to the ensemble is his onstage energy. He's a master of engaging the crowd with call and response chants and his performance character. He performs the same role in another NY Afrobeat band, Zozo Afrobeat Ensemble.
Akoya Afrobeat Ensemble is one of the most underrated Afrobeat bands on the New York scene. With a monstrous horn section, tight percussions, and captivating vocalists, Akoya is a force to be reckoned with.
Posted by Marc Amigone at 2:05 PM