Skip to main content

Global Fusion: Charles Okafor 'America' Remixes

From a media release:

CHARLESTON OKAFOR RELEASES A SERIES OF REMIXES AHEAD OF HIS SECOND ALBUM AMERICA OUT DECEMBER 12TH 2016
REMIXED TRACKS INCLUDE “RAMA RAMA” AND “AMERICA” (RELEASED ON NOVMEBER 11TH)

Buy the EP
Buy America

Nigerian-born, US-world citizen Charleston Okafor has never been one to do things predictably. He left Nigeria for the U.S. to study pre-med at Western Kentucky University, but that plan was quickly dashed when MTV reawakened his long held dream of a recording career. He soon left school to pursue his musical vision.
Charles Okafor
Now, rather than following the typical industry route of following an original release with remixes, he’s putting out the remixes first, in advance of his second album, America (out December 12th on RHOV). Together with Canadian global fusion producer Eccodek (aka Andrew McPherson), Okafor has crafted a record full of organic, live-off-the-floor intensity, groove and sonic texturalism that drives the diverse lyrical themes of life with two passports, love and partnership, the human soul and power and oppression.

For the preceding remixes (out November 11th), Okafor turned to friends he’s made since embarking on his musical journey. Charleston and Dub Trio founder Joe Tomino go back to the late 90’s reggae club scene in Cleveland (where Okafor has made his home), when their bands gigged at the same clubs and appeared on the same bills; the two even sat in with each other’s groups on occasion. Tomino takes the electro-dancehall raga of “Rama Rama” and stone cold dubs it, slowing the tempo of the original considerably and applying a classic, tripped-out dubplate vibe reminiscent of Lee “Scratch” Perry’s Black Ark days.

Charleston first heard the music of Dubmatix (aka Jesse King) through spinning some of his tracks on African Abstract, the radio show Okafor’s hosted since 1992. As luck would have it, America producer Eccodek knew Dubmatix well and introduced him to Charleston. The result is a chilled out version of “Rama Rama,” with a skipping, reggaefied lilt that will work subtle magic on the dancefloor.

For a remix of the title track, Charleston enlisted the services of long time friends Ray Lugo and Jake Fader of Kokolo Afrobeat Orchestra. The three met in 2006 when Charleston booked Kokolo to play at AfroFest Cleveland, an event of Okafor’s creating. Ray and Jake have since formed their own duo, Los Terrificos. With its jazz funk groove, the original version of “America” is probably the most “American” song on the album. But while Los Terrificos’ Latin-tinged, Afrobeat remix production conjures a more exotic vibe, it also feels right at home in the truly welcoming melting pot that is Okafor’s vision of America.

To accompany the release of the remixes and album, Okafor shot a video set to the Dubmatix version of “Rama Rama.” It’s a fitting and poetic completion of the cycle that began when he first encountered MTV, an experience that significantly influenced his life, just as it did the lives of the generation of American kids who grew up with the channel.

With the release of these remixes -- followed closely by the original, America -- Okafor begins a new cycle, one that is as sure to be as unpredictable as it is to see him maintaining a life in music. Fittingly, the U.S., with its culmination of one of the most heated presidential campaigns ever, is also about to begin a new cycle. True to his trademark confidence and good cheer, Charleston has no doubt that, regardless of who’s leading it, his adopted home country will remain what it meant to him since before he first moved here: a beacon of hope. That’s what Charleston Okafor’s America is all about.


Comments

What Else Is Hot This Week?

FACTORY presents World Premiere ACTS OF FAITH November 19 to 28 2020 - Free Livestream

 From a media release: World Premiere FACTORY presents  ACTS OF FAITH by David Yee Directed by Nina Lee Aquino Starring Natasha Mumba November 19 – 28, 2020 @ 7:30PM Streamed live for 6 performances Free of charge TORONTO (October 19, 2020) - To kick off its groundbreaking 2020/21 season, Factory presents the world premiere of acts of faith, by multi-award winning Asian Canadian playwright David Yee, directed by Nina Lee Aquino, and starring Natasha Mumba. Written specifically to be performed for a digital platform, acts of faith will stream live to audiences at home for six performances, November 19-28, 2020.  Thanks to the generous support of the TD Bank Group, admission is being offered entirely free of charge to audiences across the country and beyond. acts of faith tells a story about the power of faith, the inescapable persistence of our online identities, and the nature of truth in a digital age. The story follows Faith, a young woman who gets mistaken for a prophet. When a ques

Blues Single | Bushwick Blooze Band: Waiting (Independent / 20 October 2020)

Blues Single Bushwick Blooze Band: Waiting (Independent / 20 October 2020) Stream It From Your Fave Service Waiting is the latest in a string of singles released by Bushwick Blooze Band. The Brooklyn-based blues trio have been performing and recording the blues around the NYC area since 2018. Their first album "Cryin' for the L Train" was released in January 2019, and included covers of famous songs composed by their greatest influencers such as Little Richard, The Allman Brothers Band, Freddie King, and Eddie Vinson.  Bushwick Blooze Band is finishing up the production of their second album "Yes Dear" and unlike the previous cover record, this new album will be their first original contribution to the genres they love. Waiting is an upbeat blues track with a party kind of veneer over solid musicianship. What begins with a classic blues feel transforms into an extended psychadelic flavoured trip. Inventive guitar licks almost make you forget about the virtuosity

Experimental Solo Guitar | Dan Pitt: Monochrome (Independent / September 4 2020)

Experimental Solo Guitar Dan Pitt: Monochrome (Independent / September 4 2020) Buy it on Bandcamp Toronto guitarist and composer Dan Pitt explores new ground in Monochrome, a recent release. The compositions for solo guitar each take a different approach. Pitt's musical imagination is inventive. Ghosts is contemplative, criss-crossing the line between jazz and classical music, and in and out of tonality. It has an interestingly eerie effect. The piece contrasts with Attraction and its buzzy, erratic energy that bursts into spurts of lightening quick notes. He returns to a more conventional contemporary jazz idiom in The Sorrow - but one that ends with an intriguing twist on the form. Long Lake is a classic acoustic guitar track, folky and melodic. Ditto is a standout, a distinctly contemporary exploration of contrapuntal melodies that at times sounds like a murmur of voices. Which Way Is Up is another highlight of the release with its elegant approach to minimalism. Electronic effe

CD Release: TriBeCaStan's New Deli Breaks the Time/Space Continuum in New Deli (Feb 7)

From a media release: New Release from Little Known Government of TriBeCaStan : Capital New Deli Found to Have Irregular Time-Space Continuum EverGreene Music - February 7, 2012 TriBeCaStan: News Alert. This morning Aljazzeera reported that the questionable nation of TriBeCaStan ( www.tribecastan.tv ) has made scientific breakthroughs in time travel. The unrecognized republic of nomads has broken the code of the time/space continuum. And by broken we mean: it no longer works. Applying sonic techniques once only known to a small group of punk rock shamans, the nation's most prestigious scientific entity, the TriBeCaStani FolkLorkEstra, uses sound alone to simultaneously place listeners in eras separated by decades and terrains separated by oceans. The breakthrough is outlined in an auditory compendium titled New Deli (distributed by the state-run EverGreene Music, set for release February 7, 2012 ), a recording that allows the world to experience a type of soulful networking mor

Blaise La Bamba & Kotakoli November 7th 2020 Online - PWYC

 From a media release: Batuki Music Society and Alliance Francaise Toronto present A virtual concert featuring Blaise La Bamba & Kotakoli November 7th 2020 at 8:00 PM Enjoy the concert from home! K inshasa’s vibrant nightlife has long been world-famous. It is home to the subculture known informally as the Society of Ambiance-Makers and Elegant People (SAPEUR), which has spread its influence through artists such as Papa Wemba. Blaise La Bamba is part of this scene. He has worked with some of the top names of Congolese music, in particular General Defao. I n 2018, Blaise La Bamba founded Kotakoli , an all-star collective of musicians that perform an energetic mix of Congolese rumba and soukous . In the company of Kotakoli, this veteran musician brings Congolese popular music back to the forefront, with spellbinding dances. The Details Date: Saturday November 7th, 2021  Blaise La Bamba and Kotakoli Virtual Concert Time: 8:00 PM Tickets: Pay what you can This concert is offered to you