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Africa Oye

Female power-groups to shine at Africa Oyé 2024

2 weeks ago

Female power-groups to shine at Africa Oyé 2024
Credit: Def MaMa DeF

As the summer approaches, Africa Oyé Festival announces a spectacular lineup for its upcoming event, featuring two remarkable female duos set to electrify the stage in June.

Returning to Liverpool’s Sefton Park after record-breaking attendances last year, Africa Oyé promises two days of fantastic entertainment celebrating African and Caribbean music, dance, workshops, and more, all in the heart of Sefton Park.

Since its inaugural event over three decades ago in 1992, Africa Oyé has evolved into one of Liverpool’s most cherished annual events, drawing artists and attendees from across the globe.

The latest lineup announcement underscores the event’s commitment to showcasing fresh and exciting African talent, even after three decades.

Leading the charge on the main stage are Senegalese electronic sensations Def MaMa Def and Tanzanian folk-fusion vocalists, The Zawose Queens.

With spirit and fire in their music, The Zawose Queens bring the vibrations of their ancestors to their performance through traditional instruments – soaring chizeze fiddle, buzzing illimba thumb piano, ngoma drums that chatter and thunder – and voices that go deep, high and ‘out there’.

The Zawose Queens (Photo: Michael Mbwambo)
The Zawose Queens (Photo: Michael Mbwambo)

With a deep connection to nature, ceremony and ritual, The Zawose Queens unique dance-inspired fusion and blend of organic, harmonic and contemporary electronics are sure to light up Sefton Park on the festival weekend. Their lyrics – in their native kigogo – tell of their passion for music, the wonders of life, and their pride in environment – all grounded in their East African Roots.

Pendo and Leah Zawose showcase the fluid polyrhythms and rapturous polyphonic singing of the Gogo (aka Wagogo) people of the arid, hilly Dodoma region of Central Tanzania. The most famous exponent of this musical tradition is the late, great Dr Hukwe Zawose – Pendo’s father and Leah’s grandfather!

Def MaMa DeF are a celebration of the musical richness of Senegal, imbued with Afrobeats, hip hop and electronic sounds. Inspired by the infinite rhythms and cultures of the continent, they naturally project a powerful pan-African futuristic vision on the international soundstage.

Credit: Def MaMa DeF
Credit: Def MaMa DeF

Mama Victory is the ‘lioness’ of the duo, with 20 years of experience in the urban music scene, renowned for her energy and commitment to defending social values within her lyrics. She exudes unparalleled power in each of her performances.

A former member of the Rafa Group, singer of the famous group Daara J Family, and one of the most requested R&B voices in Senegal, Defa is the ‘diva’ of the duo – with her seductive acting and golden voice.

When the two come together, Def MaMa DeF is a special encounter; lyrics written under the stars of Senegal where the tal

ents of two powerful women combine, with choreography influenced by the Mbalax style, the rhythm and dance of Senegal.

Already announced for the festival this summer, the powerful and 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 this February, tops the bill on Sunday with his band, The Uprising.

Africa Oyé
Credit: Mark McNulty

Paul Duhaney, Africa Oyé’s Artistic Director, said: 

“We were blown away by Def MaMa Def when myself and the team saw them perform at WOMEX last year; one of those acts that we just knew would take Sefton Park by storm. And it’s been too long since we welcomed an act from Tanzania, so when The Zawose Queens were presented to us we jumped at the chance to bring a duo with such a unique sound to the festival.”

More main stage artists and emerging local talents will be unveiled in the coming months, promising a diverse and electrifying lineup for Africa Oyé 2024. With its ethos of inclusivity and accessibility, the festival will once again feature workshops, DJ stages, and a vibrant atmosphere welcoming all.

In addition to the musical delights, Africa Oyé is extending opportunities to the next generation of event industry professionals. Young individuals aged 18 to 24 from the Liverpool City Region are invited to apply for work placement roles, offering invaluable experience in various aspects of event organisation and cultural sector management.

Save the date for Africa Oyé 2024 on June 22 and 23 at Liverpool’s Sefton Park, where the spirit of Africa and the Caribbean will come alive, free for all to enjoy.

For more on Africa Oyé click here. Get all the latest for Liverpool here.

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