Now onto its 27th edition and enjoying an upward trajectory in terms of growth and quality year on year, the line-up of this AFRICA OYÉ is evidence that this could be the best yet. Having long been an established date in Liverpool’s cultural calendar, Oyé is not only a festival which has worked it’s way into the hearts of our city’s creative cultural community, but with perennial earnest effort the Oyé team put together line-ups which are the envy of festivals internationally.
This year there’s an incredible mix of legends, contemporaries and up-and-comers, all representing quality advocates of the African music diaspora. To ensure you don’t miss out on the cream of the crop, we have combed the listings to present six of our favourites artists from the line-up.
BCUC (short for Bantu Continua Uhura Consciousness) have been trailing a path from their South African homeland around the globe. The group meld afrobeat with hip hop, punk and funk to form a sound which is wholly their own. With guest appearances from the likes of Saul Williams and Femi Kuti on their latest album The Healing (Rough Trade), they are set to continue their ascent. This appearance at Oyé is sure to be charged with triumph and the infectious energy BCUC have become known for.
New York-based Afrofuturist duo OSHUN bring a vision for the African diaspora’s musical horizons with their fusion of digital and acoustic sounds. Made up of Niambi and Thandi, the former brings acrobatic lyricism on top of the latter’s heavenly harmonies to create something which is both melodic and challenging.
The Oyé faithful will mark Windrush Day this year with the sweetest voice in reggae as legend HORACE ANDY headlines the festival. From his 1970’s hits bringing Jamaican music styles to the masses through his affiliation with trip hop heroes Massive Attack, Andy has transcended genre and eras with his unequalled abilities. Fans of Oyé mainstay genres roots reggae, rocksteady, lovers rock and dance, will be delighted with this booking.
JAH9 AND THE DUB TREATMENT
Spearheading the recent Reggae Revival, JAH9’s jazz on dub stylings won her acclaim across Europe. Drawing inspiration from Ella Fitzgerald and being likened to neo-soul queen Erykah Badu, Jah9 is a rising star and another Oyé nod to the future of various genres.
One of this years Oyé Introduces acts alongside fellow local SATIN BEIGE, TABITHA JADE’S RnB sound is informed by American Trap and UK Afro Swing, meaning she will present a different sonic palette when she opens the main stage at the festival. With a National Songwriting Award under her belt and broad range of radio play, Jade is a hotly tipped talent.
THE GARIFUNA COLLECTIVE
The Garifuna tradition of Central America has been proclaimed by UNESCO as a “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity” and this group are keeping the tradition alive whilst pushing the boundaries of the centuries-old culture. Returning to Oyé after a triumphant set with their late bandleader and icon Andy Palacio in 2007, THE GARIFUNA TRADITION’s appearance at this year’s event will be a moment which Oyé is built for.
Africa Oyé takes place at Sefton Park 22-23 June. Free admission.