Afro Jazz, Afro Beat, World Music
Femi Koya BIO
A story of migration from the West to the South – resonates in his music, which creates a conscious dialogue between West African and South African sounds. This musical fusion demonstrates the path to a new and culturally integrated Africa in which a common heritage is reinforced to meet the needs of today’s world. His quest is for African unity at a time when he believes Africa should claim its rightful and proud place in the world.
Femi Koya’s debut album “Just in Newtown” is evidence of the rich melodies that result from this fusion. Through his versatility on the saxophone, he breathes new life into African world music. “Iba” meaning “Homage” is the title of Femi Koya’s album which was launched in August 2015. The Iba album also calls for African unity and makes a plea for human rights to be respected. But the album also celebrates Africa’s love of life with infectious dance numbers that bring fans to their feet. His Iba album also features the Soweto Gospel Choir, Pops Mohamed, Stompie Manana, Prince Lengoase and Kenny Mataba and poetry by Pitika Ntuli and Lisa Combrinck.
His 2018 album “Village Afrobeat” is an African party, jazzed up with Afrobeats horn arrangements, with talking drum and percussions driving the African heartbeat. Songs such as Babalawo, Lerato, Alo and Kongo enable new generations to understand the significance of African unity as well as providing a nostalgic look at village culture and its life lessons.
The songs tell stories of what happens in villages and especially in fables, with animals like the tortoise, the role of the town criers, village men and women as part of the whole village lifestyle. The songs also depict nature, fertility, rituals, change of seasons and traditions essential to village life. 2019, he is re – releasing a remix EP “Ori Mi” and Single “Iba” in June 2019 following with a world tour.
His musical influences include Fela Kuti, Bob Marley, Manu di Bango, Hugh Masekela,Baaba Maal and Sonny Rollins. He has shared the stage with Youssou N’dour and Yvonne Chaka Chaka at the CAF (Confederation of African Football Awards) in Lagos and with John Legend in his first South African tour in Cape Town. He performed alongside the king of Juju music, Sunny Ade, at the Glo launch in the Republic of Benin. Other colourful festivals featured Femi Koya’s acrobatic music, where he performed alongside the Wynton Marsalis, Oliver Mtukudzi, Habib Koite, Salif Keita, Baaba Maal. He has recorded with Simphiwe Dana, Pops Mohamed ,Yvonne Chaka Chaka, and performed with Baaba Maal, Angelique Kidjo, Wizkid just to mention a few.
Other events where Femi Koya has laid his marks include, RSA Department of Arts and Culture and dedicated a song to the Haitian people. Femi Koya was part of the Radio 2000 song for Madiba. Starred the Joburg Theatre Africa day celebrations 2015, paid tribute to Fela Kuti with Lura of Cape Verde, Abena Koomson NY/Ghana, Lira and Ringo Madlingozi of South Africa.
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