Africa Oyé have announced female supergroup Les Amazones d’Afrique in their first wave of 2020 artists.
Les Amazones d’Afrique are the one of the first three live music acts announced for the 2020 Africa Oyé, festival of music and culture in Liverpool.
Female pan-African supergroup, Les Amazones D’Afrique, Ghanian highlife stars, Santrofi and Cameroonian songstress Valerie Ekoume will all grace the Sefton Park stage when the festival returns for its 28th annual event on 20th and 21st June, 2020.
An all-female collective of West African musicians, Les Amazones D’Afrique made a huge impact across the globe with their 2017 debut album, République Amazone. Singing out against gender inequality, FGM and ancestral violence, the group firmly believe that “music has the potential to be a weapon against the systematic disempowerment of women across Africa and beyond”.
While their cause is worthy enough in itself, their musical creative expression is equally powerful. Richly melodic and far-ranging, it blends pan-African styles and collaborative harmonies with gritty, contemporary pop, and the Congotronix-style production of legendary producer Doctor L (aka Liam Farrell).
Following in the footsteps of Ebo Taylor and Pat Thomas & the Kwashibu Area Band, Santrofi is a collective of celebrated young musicians known well within Ghana’s music circles.
These sounds range from the smelting, soulful highlife, that can only be nurtured by Accra’s afternoon scorch, to the riveting fast-paced pulse of 70s dance-guitar highlife. Or from the other-worldly sound of highlife funk to 50s big band highlife and the polyrhythmic beats and melodies that took Afrobeat across the globe.
Growing up in a family of musicians, Valérie Ekoumè is a French-Cameroonian singer who was raised listening to various musical styles, from congolese rumba and traditional Cameroonian music to mainstream eighties pop. She credits Miriam Makeba (Mama Africa) and Whitney Houston as her ‘virtual vocal coaches’, as she found herself singing along to their music at every opportunity at home.
This first wave artist reveal comes off the back of a call to action for all fans of the festival, as organisers stressed the importance of donations, sponsorship and investment in ensuring the event remains free entry and open to all. To donate to Africa Oyé online, supporters can click the Paypal donate button on the africaoye.com homepage.