The second annual Sounds of Afrobeats Festival is coming up on Saturday April 16 at the Greenwood Hotel in North Sydney. For anyone craving an afternoon of African rhythms, with stellar DJs from Sydney, Lagos, London and NYC, look no further.
Speaking to one of the founders of this inspiring, cultural and musical celebration of the beats of African and beyond, Nick Mbogua, he shares his insight on why the festival was created and how it has grown into something that is fast becoming a mainstay on the Sydney entertainment banner!
Afrobeats – what’s the importance of this sound in a growing African culture in Sydney?
Sounds of Afrobeats was established to highlight the unique Afro-polyrhythms which have tremendous representation globally, but not in the Australian music scene. Afrobeats as a genre is important to the growing Afro-Australian community, as it has a unique ability to deliver an intense energy and positive vibrations. Our festival, with a diverse range of Afro sounds, has been structured to breakdown all the cultural silos and promote multiculturalism.
What is the message behind Sounds of Afrobeats Festival and the people you wish to reach with this festival?
Our message is to promote Afro culture under the Australian skies. We aim to integrate all communities with our rich flavour of music and rhythm. We believe that music is the key to the soul and has such a strong ability to breakdown cultural barriers.
When and how did the Afrobeats Festival come about and who would you list as major influencers in the Afrobeat music scene?
The Sounds of the Afrobeats family was formed in late 2014 with an aim to curate a new style of events that showcase the energy, culture, positive vibes and diversity that we know the music delivers. Our influence was predominantly based on the identification that the Australian music festival scene lacked any Afro influence. With this being said, our major influence was the Afro-Australian community, however we encourage alternative communities to embrace our rich culture of music.
What are your thoughts on Australia’s lockout laws and its impact on the music scene in general?
Whilst we understand the ideology behind the lockout laws, the methodology to combat the issues needs to be reviewed with respect to its effectiveness. There should be an increased control on alcohol, which is the fuel for violence and not the entrance to an establishment. However, with this being said it allowed us an opportunity to enter into the day party scene, similar to what our friends at Soul of Sydney have accomplished.
What are your hopes for the future of the Afrobeats Festival and what kind of mark do you hope to make on the current music industry?
We hope to be able to eventually deliver our festival to all states of Australia. Our vision is to be able to develop a nationwide family who welcomes all cultures & backgrounds to dance on one dancefloor. We wish to develop a footprint in the industry which will set the benchmark for Afro music festivals in Australia for future generations.
The second annual Afrobeats Festival will be taking place on:
Date: Saturday 16th April
Location: The Greenwood Hotel, 36 Blue Street North Sydney