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Young artists from Liverpool to open Africa Oyé 2024

Organisers have announced that young artists from Liverpool will kick off the daily musical line-up at the Africa Oyé festival this summer.

This June, thousands will descend on Sefton Park once again for the UK’s biggest celebration of the music and culture of Africa and the Diaspora, with two free days of fantastic music, workshops, DJs, dance, food vendors and a range of stalls and traders.

Launched in 2015, ‘Oyé Introduces’ sees local artists open the musical programme on both days of the festival – following community performances by cultural organisations from across the city region – giving some of the area’s brightest young talent the chance to share the stage with international stars.

Young artists from Liverpool to open Africa Oyé 2024
Yilly Ruel & Rax Vibes

Angolan rapper and songwriter Yilly Ruel performs a unique fusion of Hip Hop/Rap and Angolan rhythms, captivating audiences with his exhilarating sound. Based in Liverpool, Yilly has been making waves in the local music scene and achieved a significant milestone as the 3rd winner of the prestigious Open Mic UK 2019 competition held at the iconic O2 Arena in London.

Born and raised in Luanda – the capital of Angola – Yilly’s passion for music blossomed during his formative years. Balancing part-time employment with his dedication to crafting exceptional music, he transformed his home studio into a creative sanctuary, producing music that resonates with the themes of self-love and self-motivation.

Yilly – who will perform on the Saturday of the festival – has recently joined forces with Rax Vibes, a band featuring members with roots from Nigeria and Jamaica.

Young artists from Liverpool to open Africa Oyé 2024
Fraya Ofoeme

Fraya Ofoeme is an aspiring artist from Liverpool who has been singing since she was 4 years old. She describes it as her passion – and is determined to make it her future.

The young singer is involved in various events in the city, and is currently on Sound City’s Training and Development Programme.

Fraya, who will open the music programme of the Oyé festival on the Sunday, is currently working on her own original material – embracing her Nigerian and Senegalese heritage.

Young artists from Liverpool to open Africa Oyé 2024
Festival-goers at Africa Oyé (Photo: Mark McNulty)

Fraya said: 

“I am so passionate about music because it gives me the opportunity to help others the way music has helped me throughout my whole life. I want to say how grateful I am for this opportunity to perform at Africa Oyé this year; I’m so excited to represent being a young Black scouser in Liverpool as well as my Nigerian and Senegalese heritage.”

Yilly said: 

“Make sure you’re at Africa Oyé – this is going to be the greatest performance you’ve ever seen us do. And if you’ve ever been to one of our performances you know that we go crazy! And if you’re from Angola, I want to hear you say ‘Mata, Mata, Mata, Mata’!'”

Beginning over three decades ago in 1992 as a series of shows in the city centre, Africa Oyé Festival has evolved into one of Liverpool’s most beloved annual events, attracting artists and attendees from across the world.

Festival-goers peruse the stalls at Africa Oyé 2023 (Photo: Mark McNulty)

Already announced for the festival this summer, the creative force of Les Amazones d’Afrique will close proceedings on Saturday 22nd June, whilst Julian Marley, fresh from his Grammy win for Best Reggae Album, tops the bill on Sunday with his band, The UprisingDef MaMa Def,The Zawose Queens, Fulu Miziki, Florence Adooni, and Super Duty Tough Work were also announced last month.

The Community Acts for 2024 have also been revealed, with MD Productionsopening proceedings on the Saturday and Liverpool Hip Hop Festival presenting a showcase on the Sunday.

Since their inception in 2001, MD Productions has built up a well-respected professional repertoire in the entertainment industry as well as being well known in the Liverpool City Region for their community-based project “See you see Me”. The dance company’s journey has seen them become semi-finalists on Britain’s Got Talent three times, close the entertainment at the F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2016. In addition, MD have performed for Michael Jackson, The Royal Family and supplied artists for the likes of MTV.

Liverpool Hip Hop Festival’s youth music group is a talented group of musicians and vocalists who have grown from their Access All Areas project, supported by Liverpool Royal Court. This year at Oyé, audiences can expect to see ‘an interesting collective of different musical vibes to get you in the mood for a good time’. 

Young artists from Liverpool to open Africa Oyé 2024
The Oyé Active Zone at Africa Oyé 2023 (Photo: Mark McNulty)

The Oyé Active Zone returns for 2024, and will once again be hosted by Liverpool’s world dance charity Movema. Audiences can expect the usual array of multi-arts workshops across the whole weekend, for all ages and abilities. The increasingly-popular DJ stages Trenchtown and Freetown are also confirmed to return with a line-up of local selectors and MCs to be announced very soon. Oyé’s ethos of being ‘free and open to all’ also means that as well as the festival remaining free entry, the popular Access Tent, on-stage British Sign Language translators and the Accessible Viewing Platform will all return in 2024.

This year’s Africa Oyé festival will take place on June 22nd and 23rd 2024, in Liverpool’s Sefton Park from 12:30pm til 9:30pm both days and entrance is FREE.


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