Welcome to urban Africa of the present: The first Urban Africa Festival, taking place from the 27th to the 30th of September in and around Club Bahnhof Ehrenfeld, will become the hub of urban culture and different lifestyles in the metropolises of the african continent. Musicians from Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa and Zimbabwe, like South African superstar Cassper Nyovest or the rapper AWA from Zimbabwe will encounter musicians, Djs and producers from Germany such as Megaloh or Symbiz.
Moreover, an Urban Culture Academy, which under the motto #myFuture2020, deals with the current developments of the pop music markets of Africa, will be part of the festival; which differences, which similarities are there and which challenges does the generation Hashtag in Africa have to face in the years to come. What attracts German artists to the metropolises of Africa? Can the new generation of artists from the African continent make it big on the international music market? Anyway, the odds have rarely been better, or will the stars be labeled off again as exotics of “world music” in the end? These and many other questions will be addressed in presentations, panels and workshops.
During the days of the workshop, all artists will be participating in a joint stage show which will be performed on Friday, the 30th September in Club Bahnhof Ehrenfeld. There’ll also be a music programme at the Yuca Club on Thursday, the 29th of September and the festival will end on Friday night with an after show party in the Yuca Club. The exact flow of the concert and the programme of the Urbane Culture Academy will shortly be announced on: www.urbanafricafestival.com. Wanlov the Kubolor, who is from Ghana, is the host of the festival and will be overseeing the programme on site.
The idea for the festival, with focus on the metropolises of Africa stems from the music-blog: www.urbanafricaclub.com. On it, music journalist, blogger and curator of the festival, Georg Milz gathers portraits with stories and music videos from key musicians of the continent. They give an insight into the urban artists’ environment.
The Urban Africa Festival is sponsored by the TURN trust of the federation’s charity and by the cultural office of the city of Cologne.
The music programme:
When the superstar of townships Cassper Nyovest goes on stage in South Africa, he delivers an unforgettable show: Last November, fastened to a crane with a wire rope, he hovered over 20,000 delighted fans to the stage and put on the very first Pyroshow ever, for many in the audience. He lets his two million followers be part of the life of an african popstar, by livestreaming on Facebook, holding his golden Rolex out to the camera, telling about his adventures in America.
In metropolises like Lagos, Johannesburg or Accra, a new generation of artists has grown up. Cassper Nyovest, Gasmilla or Major League DJz have become trendsetters in their home countries , with their own respective styles: Gasmilla is the king of Azonto, those worldly dance wisdoms from Ghana, which have made it from viral dance videos to the clubs in Europe. The major league DJz have revived South Africa’s own pop music, Kwaito from the nineties. Their “New Age Kwaito” has caused a dance-meme to go viral.
One, that believes that all African artists only look to America is mistaken. Music markets have established, in Ghana, South Africa, Nigeria or Zimbabwe, whose stars are some of the best-paid entertainers in the country, whose pay is in no way inferior to some stars from the US. There is a vital clubculture in the metropolises of Africa, an audience, that in its own manner, dances the night away to a music from which an optimism radiates, that one has rarely experienced in Europe.
Meanwhile, it’s no wonder that America has an eye on the happenings of the continent. International popstars like Jay Z, Alicia Keys or Rihanna regularly put out feelers in the direction of urban Africa. In April, the Canadian rapper Drake reached his first number 1 spot in the US charts with his song „One Dance“, which is based on urban grooves from Nigeria. 50 Cent, Drake or Talib Kweli and even the German rapper Megaloh, since then, they all travel to Africa to draw inspiration.
Additional musical guests are Symbiz, the bassmusic-band from Berlin. The three producers and musicians have moved their beatsmiths into the studio of the Dancehall-uberband Seeed and are working, among other things, for beginners, Puppetmastaz or Trettman. In fall 2015, they were in Zimbabwe and worked together with the rapper AWA. Her name stands for “African Women Arise”. In her songs AWA talks about violence against women, HIV and teenage pregnancies. She wishes for more women in Zimbabwe to take the floor in HipHop by 2020. She’ll be traveling to the festival in Cologne, together with the most popular rapper of Zimbabwe, Cal_Vin.
Ghanaian Stallion, the HipHop producer from Berlin, together with the rapper Megaloh, has been experimenting for quite some time now, on a new afro-like sound from Germany, as one could hear as a sample in his song “Oyoyo”, on his latest album ,,Regenmacher”. Together with his friend Musa from Berlin, they will bring fresh vibes from their trips to Uganda and Nigeria to the festival.
Temi DollFace grew up in London and now lives in Lagos, Nigeria again. The neo-soul singer absorbed the local “Afrobeats” hype and is now delivering Naija pop at its finest. She will be arriving at the festival, together with project GidiJand, who has been admitting musicians like the Nigerian Percussion group Wura Samba, at different places in Lagos.
In Ghana, the “African-Gypsy”: Wanlov the Kubolor is known and cherished, for walking between worlds, always barefoot and with his wrap skirt, his social criticism and his provocation. He is well aware of the different sensitivities and knows how to play them against each other. For example, if he went out to the streets in Accra with the Slogan “Go to Europe – Save the people”, touting for Ghana’s support on helping to overcome the refugee crisis, it would wet the pants of Europeans, who fear growing refugee numbers. Wanlov the Kubolor is the host of the festival and will be overseeing the programme.
URBAN CULTURE ACADEMY:
Tuesday evening, 27/09 til Thursday, 29/09
Information about entry requirements to the Academy and possible ticket prices will be issued in the middle of August!
URBAN FESTIVAL AFRICA:
Admittance: 7 pm
Presentations of the Urban Culture Academy with a musical finish in the Yuca club
Admittance: 6 p.m.
Joint stage show in Club Bahnhof Ehrenfeld: Start 8 pm
Cassper Nyovest (South Africa), Gasmilla & Capasta (Ghana), Megaloh (Deutschand), Major League Djz (South Africa), Wanlov the Kubolor (Ghana), Ghanaian Stallion (Germany), Symbiz (Germany), Cal_Vin (Zimbabwe), AWA (Zimbabwe), GidiJand Project feat. Temi Dollface & Wura samba and many more.
After party Yuca club: Start: 10 pm
Tickets: Advance Sales: 10€ / At the door: 13€