Super Yamba Band // IGBO
Wednesday March 8th, 2017
$10 ADV // $12 DOS
People‘s Champs combines the hottest dance rhythms from West Africa and South America with retro-futurist synth tones, crafting them into indie songs with Stevie Wonder-esque lyrics. With their “crazy ass genre mash ups” (Blakbook), People‘s Champs‘ truly original sound is equal parts Sharon Jones, tUnE-yArDs, Os Mutantes, William Onyeabor, and Prince. Critics are calling People’s Champs a “New York supergroup!” (Lucid Culture) and “Well on their way to becoming NYC’s de facto Funk and Afrobeat experience” (Deli Magazine).With feet placed equally in Brooklyn’s thriving indie rock community and it’s renowned retro funk & soul scene, bandleader Alex Asher founded People’s Champs inspired by the idea that music is for everyone: They creatively deliver a unique blend of powerful lyrics and danceable rhythms that relate to people from all walks of life. After rocking big events at The Guggenheim Museum and The MoMA, countless NYC underground parties, and a multiple-year monthly residency at Brooklyn creative music hotspot Barbès, People‘s Champs released their first full-length album — “American Dreamers” — on October 23rd, 2015 on boutique Brooklyn label 3rd Generation Recordings.
“In thinking about the larger shape of the tune, we found it best to embrace an unconventional song structure — depending on your point of view, this tune might not have a verse or a chorus. Also, lyrically, we were very inspired and influenced by Persian poet Hafez’s work “We Have Not Come to Take Prisoners”. We riffed on his words to suit our melodic ideas while staying true to his message. We hope Hafez digs it, wherever he is.”
“The song is about fighting for yourself and not letting your dreams go. However, it’s more so about fighting for your dreams on behalf of all the people who have made sacrifices to help you. People who put aside their own needs to help you; people who have dreamed for you and love you so much that their dream is to see you live yours.” -PC
People’s Champs is an all-star collective featuring some of the most creative and original musicians in Brooklyn. Members of People‘s Champs have performed internationally with artists including Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Lip Talk, Bajah and Dry Eye Crew, Cuddle Magic and Delicate Steve, among others. People’s Champs feature members of The Superpower Horns, the recording studio horn section for Beyoncé Knowles. They arranged the horn lines on two of Beyoncé’s top albums, her 2013 surprise album Beyoncé and her 2011 effort 4. The song “Love on Top”, featuring the horns prominently, won a Grammy Award. The Superpower Horns recently became the touring horn section for Boy George & Culture Club and participated in the Club’s 2016 international tour.
Listen to Brooklyn’s Super Yamba Band, and you’ll find a unique blend of inspiration born of 70s/80s West-African Afrobeat and Psychedelic Funk bolstered by a well-attested aptitude when it comes to live performance.
The band formed in 2014 –a ragtag gang of music-makers, having honed their craft alongside esteemed artists such as Reptar, Yeasayer, The Afromotive, Between The Buried And Me and Trioscapes to name a few. Through these experiences, perhaps the most influential collaboration for the band’s sound was the with Senegalese griot and talking drum master Mamadou Mbenge, known best for his work with African pop star Abdou Guite Seck. “We played music pretty much constantly with Mamadou for three solid years in several different contexts and really came to understand African music through him,” drummer Daniel Yount explains.
Look no further than Super Yamba Band’s latest single, N’diarabi (feat. Ismael Kouyate), for a taste of what this imaginative group brings to the New York City music scene. “Opening with an unmistakable sabar groove, the track rapidly evolves into a burning Afro-stomper, with funked-out falsetto guitar licks and delirious organ riffs sitting firmly alongside Ismael Kouyate’s evocative guest vocals. Periodic horn bursts and an incessant bass groove complete the mix, making for a thoroughly fresh—and danceable—record that is sure to sound even better live.” says Afropop Worldwide.
Super Yamba Band has spent most of 2015 and 2016 in the studio and are anticipating the release of more new music in 2017.
“IGBO, a funk-fusion band from New York, fishes through the same record section but grabs richer sleeves: Bob James, George Clinton, and maybe a few “Sesame Street” anthologies” – The New Yorker