Jazzing up African tales – Femi Koya releases new album/tour, Village Afrobeat

In association with Concerts SA, Afrobeat saxophonist Femi Koya releases his new album, Village Afrobeat, and presents it live on a national tour. Next stops: Durban and Pretoria.

Femi Koya
Photo Credits Prince Photography

Music composer and performer, versatile saxophonist and dynamic vocalist, Femi Koya released his third album entitled Village Afrobeat (Femzee Productions, 2018) on 20th April.

The Village Afrobeat national album release tour commenced in Cape Town in May. Now at the end of July, the tour hits Durban - with performances at The Chairman and Jazzy Rainbow. And Gauteng, where Village Afrobeat lights up African Emporium.

Born in Nigeria and based in South Africa, Femi Koya is the new face of the African Renaissance. He combines West African highlife and jazz, South African Sophiatown with nostalgic Afrobeat root sounds and his music is a rich blend of deep and sultry Afrobeat and contemporary groove.

“I believe that Africa will have its true homecoming when people see themselves as first and foremost African. Until then I will continue to make music suggestive of this homecoming and what the future holds for Africans united. It is our destiny”,

says Femi Koya.

Femi’s new album is an African party, jazzed up with Afrobeat’s horn arrangements, with talking drum and percussions driving the African heartbeat. Songs such as Babalawo, Lerato, Alo and Kongo enable new generations to understand the significance of these narratives as well as providing a nostalgic look at village culture and its life lessons.

Femi says:

“These songs tell stories of what happens in villages and especially in fables, with animals like the tortoise, the role of the town criers, village men and women as part of the whole village lifestyle. The songs also depict nature, fertility, rituals, change of seasons and traditions essential to village life.”

Femi Koya will be touring nationally with his 9-piece Afrobeat ensemble, presenting Village Afrobeat in the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. The band is comprised of Femi Koya on sax and vocals, Maxwell Baloyi on keyboards, Olusegun Oyedele on talking drum, Peter Adesola on trombone, Karo Ndoite on guitar, Seun Adebari on drums, Felix Arimoro on flugelhorn, Lanre Kununji on trumpet and Gabriel Atabe on bass.

The musical influences that can be found in Village Afrobeat include Fela Kuti, Bob Marley, Manu Dibango, Hugh Masekela and Baaba Maal. About the title of the album, Femi says: “Some say Africa is a village. I say let us then unite Africans through the metaphor of a village. Some say we are going back to our roots, Africa. I carry my root along with me into the future”.

Released on 20th April 2018, the Village Afrobeat album is available in digital online stores like iTunes, Spotify and Amazon. Physical CDs can be bought at Musica and CNA. Copies of the new CD will also be on sale at the performances.

Femi Koya Village Afrobeat Tour is supported by Concerts SA through the Music Mobility Fund, a funding mechanism which offers opportunities for South African musicians to undertake live music tours.  


Artist Links       
Website:          www.femikoya.com   
YouTube:         www.youtube.com/user/olufemiogunkoya
Facebook:        www.facebook.com/femikoyamusic  
Instagram:       https://instagram.com/femkoya  
Twitter:            www.twitter.com/femkoya     
ITunes:             https://itunes.apple.com/za/artist/femi-koya/id1028160320            
Hashtags:        VillageAfrobeat ;ConcertsSA ;MobilityFund


Events Listing

Durban – The Chairman

Saturday 21st July – 11pm – R150

Address: 146 Mahatma Ghandi Road, Durban  

Bookings: info@thechairmanlive.com / 079 753 6313     


Durban – The Jazzy Rainbow

Sunday 22nd July – 4.30pm – R100 (drink included)

Address: 93 Smiso Nkwanyana Rd, Morningside, Durban

Bookings: jazzyrainbow@mweb.co.za / 031 303 8398     


Pretoria – African Beer Emporium

Thursday 26th July – 7.30pm – No cover charge

Address: 367 Helen Joseph St, Pretoria Central, Tshwane  

Bookings: admin@africanbeeremporium.com / 064 205 5069


About Femi Koya

Femi Koya is urban and urbane. His life’s journey - a story of migration from the West to the South - resonates in his music, which creates a conscious dialogue between West African and South African sounds. This musical fusion demonstrates the path to a new and culturally integrated Africa in which a common heritage is reinforced to meet the needs of today's world. His quest is for African unity at a time when he believes Africa should claim its rightful and proud place in the world. He has shared the stage with Youssou N’dour and Yvonne Chaka Chaka at the CAF (Confederation of African Football) Awards in Lagos and with John Legend on his first South African tour in Cape Town. He performed alongside the king of Juju music, Sunny Ade, at the Glo launch in the Republic of Benin. Other colourful festivals felt Femi Koya's acrobatic music, when he performed alongside Wynton Marsalis, Oliver Mtukudzi, Habib Koite, Salif Keita and Baaba Maal. He has recorded with Simphiwe Dana, Pops Mohamed and Yvonne Chaka Chaka, and worked with Baaba Maal, Angelique Kidjo and Wizkid, to mention a few. Femi Koya was part of the Radio 2000 song for Madiba. He starred at the Joburg Theatre Africa Day celebrations 2015, payed tribute to Fela Kuti with Lura of Cape Verde, Ghanaian- American artist Abena Koomson, and Lira and Ringo Madlingozi of South Africa.

About Concerts SA

Concerts SA is a joint South African/Norwegian live music development project housed within the SAMRO Foundation. Concerts SA receives financial, administrative and technical support from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, SAMRO, the SAMRO Foundation and Concerts Norway. Working with musicians, promoters, venue owners and audiences, and providing support to the sector through research and skills development for music professionals, the project aims to build a vibrant and viable live music circuit in southern Africa. It also aims to develop an interest in and appreciation of live music by showcasing music performances and conducting workshops at schools. For more information please visit our website http://concertssa.co.za, follow @ConcertsSA on Twitter at twitter.com/ConcertsSA or like us on Facebook at facebook.com/ConcertsSA.

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