Fusing London's pop electronic music with an African aftertaste

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on March 15, 2019 - Duration: 02:09s

Fusing London's pop electronic music with an African aftertaste

Ibibio Sound Machine is known for its fusion of African and electronic music, singing in both English and the Nigerian language, Ibibio.

The group recently performed in London, as Soraya Ali reports.


Fusing London's pop electronic music with an African aftertaste

West-African disco meets post-punk electro.

Ibibio Sound Machine is an eight-piece band fusing African and electronic music.

Lead vocalist Eno Williams was born in London - but her roots are firmly in Lagos, where she spent much of her childhood.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) LEAD VOCALIST, ENO WILLIAMS, SAYING: "Growing up in Nigeria, I was exposed to a lot of cultural values and storytelling.

And a lot of that storytelling is what you hear on a lot of the songs that I sing about because they're stories that my grandparents, my auntie, my mum, my relatives told me growing up as a child." The group's name pays homage to the singer's south Nigerian Ibibio language And lyrics are a mix of English and her native tongue.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) AFRICA JOURNAL REPORTER, SORAYA ALI, SAYING: "With band members originating from Nigeria, Trinidiad, Brazil and Australia, Ibibio Sound Machine are known for their diverse music and roots.

The group formed almost a decade ago here in London, and people are still showing up to see what's next." This week, the band's been performing at the iconic 100 Club.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) IBIBIO SOUND MACHINE FAN, ANOUSHKA KHANDWALA, SAYING: "I have not seen or heard any other band that sings in both Ibibio and English.

I'm sure there must be others out there, but this is the best one to my knowledge and I love the fact they have this amazing electro-pop-funk sound." (SOUNDBITE) (English) IBIBIO SOUND MACHINE FAN, ADRIAN, SAYING: "Just the fusion of the beats, like the Nigerian with the rest of the kind of musical heritage just all comes together in a great melting pot." Ibibio Sound Machine has two albums under its belt but it's set its sights on much more.

And the band's now hoping to perform where its music originates from - in Africa.

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