One evening this past week I decided to dive back into the likes of Nigerian funk and disco that emerged in the 1970s - and has, only recently, been embraced in name by Western European labels and artists, even if the sonic influences have changed the landscape of contemporary music as we know it. But rather than create a "throwback" playlist, I decided to create what I call an Afro Futures playlist. As I see it, music speaks in conversation with each other, even if the linkages are suggestive, the dialogue subliminal. By positioning this emerging sound of the 1970s and 1980s with emerging sounds of the 2000s and 2010s by Black artists, there is a suggestion of where the future of music is going and just how rich these musical legacies are.
Present here are the big names: Steve Monite, William Onyeabor, Kiki Gyan, Erkyah Badu and Kendrick Lamar. But there are many other lesser known individuals whose styles span these forty plus years. It's all about letting loose and really getting into the grooves, seeing where and how the textures of these sounds brush up against one another.