The African beat has always been essential to Brazil’s music. But now the new generation of musicians, singers and rappers are tweaking the basics of Fela’s funk to fit with samba swing, bossa tempo and nordestino nous.
John Armstrong‘s new compilation Afrobeat Brasil features 14 blazing tracks from 2011 to 2017 that nod towards Nigeria, Ethiopia, Mali and beyond – with feet firmly in Brazil.
For the first time outside Brazil, a careful selection of modern Afrobeat- inspired tunes from across several Brazilian genres, taking in cutting-edge players from Rio, São Paulo, Salvador, Porto Alegre –and even Paris. No slavish Fela Kuti copycats these, but rather Afrobeat and other specific African tempos and rhythms used as a blueprint, a building- block for new directions in Brazilian music.
About John Armstrong:
John started playing records in and around London in the late 70s, after a Eureka moment at one of the first New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festivals in the mid-70s, from which he returned with interviews from everyone from Allen Toussaint to Betty Carter (many of which were published in the now-defunct Jazz & Blues Review).
In 2008/9, John wrote, devised, and presented BBC Radio 2’s Viva Latino – which brought a fully-dedicated latin music show to the BBC airwaves for the first time , with worldwide listening figures for the 14-part series reaching 9 million at one point.
Over the last 30 years, he’s put together approximately 200 compilations of latin, afro, zouk, Brazilian music, soul, flamenco, Irish traditional music, and even rockabilly, Cajun, zydeco and rock & roll – making him one of the three or four most prolific compilers in the UK.