Portuguese Afrobeat or a form of hypnotism

It started ten years ago in bedrooms and living rooms and garages of Quinta do Mocho, however, nowadays, it breathes in venues like Musicbox, ZdB or even Lux for that matter.

Afrobeat and kuduro are not something new in Portugal. Born and raised here, they are now reaching adulthood.

The two major names that immediately pop up in our heads are Príncipe Discos, the powerhouse label of afrobeat and Enchufada, launched by Branko, one of the forerunners of Buraka Som Sistema that circumnavigated the world more times than the world circumnavigated them.

We have already invented cante alentejano, fado and now there’s a new sound to the world, inspired by the African roots that burst in every corner, and we can only be proud of that.

Prince, for seven years, has been the host of parties bursting with of sweat and dance moves, where their DJs, like the great Marfox, Niggafox and other foxes enthral us in cauldrons that warm the heart, soul, the foot and the hip.

In living colour, tasting the flavour of the moment, raising the heat level, many DJs and producers make music, do live productions, with us, as if we are all part of the music sheet that turns itself into the sole of the foot, and together we write music. And this is one of the factors that makes it unique, singular and unrepeatable. It embraces the mistake and the dancing partner, celebrating the beat and change. That change prompted by music. Yes, because when we talk about afrobeat we talk about rupture. It has been assuming the role of a leverage for the progressive overthrow of invisible walls between the centre and the suburb, just like hip-hop in the past. Because it’s true when they say that music can saves.

We’ve left the unifying songs of Zeca Afonso behind and, voiceless, we sing about freedom and union only with foot-tapping and a percussive beat. Regarding the music itself, few ways can describe it. Because the kuduro is joined by the beat, kizomba, funaná, house, afro house, tarraxinha and other sorts of offspring from Angola, Cape Verde and São Tomé and Príncipe.

And if one asks what instruments are used by its creators, we just find laptops and software like Virtual DJ or PCDJ. Instruments that speak the same language in any part of the world and sounds that are understood from Asia to Northern Europe, where they are deeply appreciated. The demand for DJs has increased, not only in the United Kingdom but also in Europe, Africa and Latin America. Nigga Fox gave music at Sonar in Barcelona and at the Polish festival Unsound, for instance. Marlon, in turn, has performed in events in Berlin, New York and Rio de Janeiro.

Mambos Levis d’ Outro Mundo, was the showcase-formatted record presented in 2016 gathering 20 songs from 20 producers like Blacksea Não Maya, Nídia Minaj, Nervoso, Nigga Fox, Alto Nível, Normal Nada, Niagara, Puto Adriano, Maboku or Puto Márcio.

DJ Lycox was the last of the whole crew to release an album, and the premiere single can be checked here:

And all releases are available here.

And as all good heirs, we talk about Pedro Mafama. From Anjos district, Mafama gives us Cozido à Lisboeta, after releasing 07 PEGA A 12 e COMO ASSIM. He also gives us Feitiço produced by himself and Franklin Beats. And if you ask him what the recipe of his boiled dish is, he says: “If we’re to see what’s inside this boiled dish, we may talk about kizomba, Lisbon beats, kuduro, Brazilian funk, Portuguese folk music and fado. But what I want is to reach that level where you cannot distinguish which gender you’re listening and, then, someone comes and gives that unknowable gender a name.”

Check it here:

To have a live taste of it, there’s a monthly Príncipe party at Musicbox, and it should be seen as a medical prescription.

It is more than therapy, it is cure-like, not only for social maladies but for the body. It’s a fierce, raw, hallucinating and anti-gravity medicine. It is an experience, it is a mishmash, and the outcome is a unique discovery.

Call it what you want, but one thing is for sure: it is reasonless music, it is done with heart.

She’s 24 but believes that childhood lasts a lifetime. Maybe that's why she dreams of Spielberg movies and is passionate about picture books and cartoons. Born in Sines, she lives in Lisbon but has a tropical heart that takes her constantly to the other side of the Atlantic and Latin culture. She works as a copywriter in advertising and devotes herself to writing in her spare time – and that's where she loses herself, to find herself.

Subscreva a nossa newsletter!

Aceito a Política de Privacidade

Subscribe Umbigo

4 issues > €25

(free shipping to Portugal)