We caught up with Afroshake ahead of next Saturdays event, here is what they had to say.
Introduce yourselves, What are the origins of Afroshake? How did you start the project?
We're pretty much just a couple of friends from Kenya who've always had an interest in anything music-related.We picked up deejaying around two years ago. It was honestly a pretty spontaneous decision, we got a chance to play around on some DJ controllers once and it just kinda clicked that this is something we really enjoyed and wanted to do.
The idea of Afroshake only came to us a lot later after we'd gained more experience deejaying solo and at house parties. It mostly just grew out of a desire to hear more of the music we liked being played at venues in Leeds. We feel like we have a good sense for a lot of music that goes mostly underappreciated in Leeds (and probably most of the UK) and we think we could contribute to pushing these sounds to a wider audience.
We also see it as a Pan-African project to explore the musical legacy of people of African descent. Through it we hope to highlight the interconnectedness of African musical styles (both on and off the continent) and to celebrate their diversity.
What artists have influenced your sound? Do you have a specific track/album/performance which had a huge impact on you?
It's hard to narrow down specific influences because we try to engage with a really wide variety of sounds. We really admire the work of labels like Nyege Nyege Tapes (Uganda), especially Kampire and Soundway Records. We're also big fans of Amapiano heavyweights like Vigro Deep, Caltonic SA, etc. But that's just scratching the surface.
Who are your favourite northern artists and venues? Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle?
We like spots like Beaverworks, Freedom Mills, Dryad Works, Wharf Chambers, Mint Warehouse, Leeds West Indian Centre, and ,of course, Old Red Bus Station. As for artists, we'd say Brazilian Wax, Seth Chohan, Savta, DAUDI and Junior Simba.
What are you most looking forward to this year?
Right now we're really excited about supporting Hotbox on the 23rd. Generally speaking we look forward to hopefully playing at more venues in Leeds and just spreading Pan-African Sounds within the community and beyond .
What's your take on the music industry in a post-covid post-brexit landscape? What kind of changes and progress would you like to see from the UK club scene?
We don't really have much to say about the music industry in the UK having only relatively recently gotten involved with it. One thing we would love to see is greater representation and support of marginalised groups (like POC, Women and LGBTQIA+) within the music industry, and a wider appreciation for a greater diversity of musical styles. Not only in the UK, but everywhere really.
Is there such a thing as a perfect last track? If so , what's yours?
Sifuma: Off the top of my head I'd say Lengoma by DJ Sbu & Zahara.Ras Myles: Indaba Ka bani by Kabza De Small, or Sene Kela by Mr Raoul K.