Coffee for your ears! 30min. of high energy Soukous from the countries of São Tomé & Guinea Bissau in West Africa. Selected by The Soulvendor (Tropical Timewarp/ Radio Djan Djan) – who recently travelled both countries meeting Dj’s and radio selectors in his search for good music. Here we go: „Soukous Wake Up Call“ No milk no sugar needed!
Gegründet in den späten 1970er Jahren sind Africa Negra die unumstrittenen musikalischen Botschafter des kleinen Inselstaates São Tomé and Príncipe im Golf von Guinea. Ihr einzigartiger Sound aus kongolesischem Soukous & Rumba, ghanaischem Highlife und Kap verdischen Musikstilen wird in allen lusophonen Ländern West Afrikas verehrt. Der Durchbruch der Band begann mit dem Song „Bô Legá Caçô Modêbô“ („You let the dog bite you“) welcher 1983 auf dem Album „Angelica“ erschien. Seitdem tourt die Band mit neueren Alben unregelmäßig durch West Afrika. Im letzten Jahr spielte Afrika Negra beim Wassermusikfestival im Haus Der Kuluren Der Welt & begeisterte hunderte von Zuschauer*Innen.
YAAM An der Schillingbrücke 3, 10243 Berlin
Doors: 19 Uhr / Konzert 20 Uhr
Eintritt im Rahmen des YAAM Sunday: 3,-
For the past 40 years, África Negra have been indisputably the most important and genuine ambassadors of the music of São Tomé and Príncipe, an island state in the Gulf of Guinea off the western equatorial coast of Central Africa. The band is extremely renowned in the lusophone African countries and its worldwide diaspora, be it Europe or North and South America, and are loved for their own inimitably style of heavenly mellowed São Tomé Rumba or Soukous, with blissful hints of Highlife, that their fans came to affectionately call as ‘Mama Djumba’. They originally got together in 1974 but their first recordings are from 1981, when they began successfully touring around Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde and Portugal, while the music was being released on LPs on legendary Lisbon based label Iefe Discos, records now very sought after on the contemporary global vinyl collectors market lean on post-colonial electric african music. The band also published their music on cassette and CD formats on the ensuing years, and went through many line up changes throughout the 1990’s, after the pinnacle ensemble of almost a dozen (included a brass section and dancers) came to an abrupt finale in 1989 in Cape Verde, due to a dramatic parting or split of the band in two, half of it returning to São Tomé and the other half staying in Cape Verde were their following was devilishly overwhelming.
The group has stabilized their cast two years ago, which allowed them to play more regularly on their native country and increasing incursions abroad. They are still using some of their old instruments (miraculously they still work ), and vintage guitar effects processors that assure the original sounds from the recordings back in the 80s still shine trough their charismatic patine. They are a band of six (voice, two guitars, drums, bass and percussion), two of them are from the original formation: João Seria (voice) and Albertino (bass), but you also have to account for Leonildo Barros, the seminal guitar player that help make the band’s sound, now living in Portugal, and finally reunited with their brothers of arms in the Summer of 2014 for a string of victorious shows in Euroland, including FMM Sines festival in Portugal and Berlin’s Wassermusik Festival.
Präsentiert von: YAAM Berlin / Tropical Timewarp & Krèyol
For more information about the musical landscape of São Tomé & Príncipe visit:
All Ears on Sao Tomè!
The Soulvendor (Tropical Timewarp) was lucky enough to spend his winter holidays under the tropical sun of Sao Tomè and Príncipe. As it’s hard to find any information about the musical landscape of this country, we’re delighted that he want to share this experience with us!
His show gives listeners a small insight into the wonderful musical landscape of Sao Tomè. It focuses on the traditional and vintage popular music which can be still heard at almost all festive gatherings, while played live or blasting through a sound system with young and old all dancing.
Enjoy „All Ears On Sao Time“ live recorded at Cashmere Radio on Tuesday March 3rd.
Tucked far away from the Mainland of the african continent, Sao Tomè and Principe are the home of a unique musical style. The sound of the archipelago is influenced by the origin of its inhabitants, who were brought there as slaves by the Portuguese in the 15th century. Most of them were deported from Angola, Mozambique and Cape Verde.
The godfathers of São Toméan popular music were the Leoninos, a band which was founded in 1959 by Quintero Aguiar. The group was well known as the voice of the people of São Tomé and Príncipe- they were the heroes of their culture. The Leoninos were banned by the Portuguese radio station after they released „Ngandu“ which criticized the Portuguese colonialists. It took until 1975 before the 2nd smallest African country finally gained its independence.
Popular music from the islands began to diversify as bands like Os Quibanzas and the outstanding Africa Negra ,which was led by Joao Seria, appeared. By the 1980s they had perfected their version of São Tomé Rumba, what their fans call ‘MamaDjumba’ music. África Negra’s MamaDjumba sound was immortalized in a series of 40 or 50 songs, that the group recorded at Radio São Tomé in the early 1980s. The broadcast & recording studios of Radio São Tomé were located at the eastern edge of the capital city of São Tomé in a small house overlooking the ocean. The broadcast & recording booths were too small to accommodate a large group of musicians, so África Negra would set up in the courtyard, facing the incoming waves, & lay down tracks surrounded by their most loyal fans.
Another famous Band is Sangazuza. Altough Some musicans are replaced by the younger generation but the band is still active as you can see in this video snippet recorded in February 2018.
Cape Verdian Funana, Congolese Rumba, Soukous or Highlife from West Africa had a strong influence on the musical development of Sao Tomè but local musicans have always created their own blend and styles like Taufua or Puxa, which still dominate the island’s music. But the young people also listen to Angolian Kizomba, other Lusophone music and West African music in general.
The mesmerizing music of Sao Tomè and Principe will make you dance in no time. Frenetic drum patterns, the use of the mouth harp, electric guitars and different kinds of percussion instruments create a unique atmosphere.
For more information about the music of Sao Tomé & Principe also visit: