Soulfege: A Fusion Experience

Sweetmother ,
I never forget you
the way you suffer, suffer,
she kept me humble in the concrete jungle…
She taught me to aim high…
Never enuf time to thank her for what she did…
Sweetmother by Soulfege( Abridged lyrics)

The reggae/funk/hiphop group Soulfege has arrived. Where the fusion of different genres and influences heralds the entry of an interesting band, Soulfege upps this and has indeed checked in. I am swaying to ‘Sweet mama’, an ode to our mothers, ‘Sweetheart’, a ballad I am now convinced was crooned for beauties everywhere, and ‘Baby’.

When I mention highlife, Africa, fusion, soul and heart, if you are still in the dark, know that I am on about Soulfege. Kudos to this group, which is one of the best groups to have emerged in the recent years. Some of you know that I am on a roll with proteges to emerge from Kuumba ( Harvard Choir ) such as Shu and now Daniel N. Ashong, of Soulfege. It does not hurt that the group is a diaspora group with influences from all over including the Fugees, highlife and the best of that benga-esque beat that I cannot seem to get enough of.

I think listening to this group tonight was a real treat and am very sad that we missed them narrowly when they came to perform in Philly over the summer. Reading DNA’s story about discovering his roots after travelling the world is one that many friends and I can identify with, what with some having come from upbringing in at least five world capitals and a fair number of the rest transplanted to the US to study and carve careers. I admire his talent, his and Soulfege’s passion for Africa and the development of youth in Africa.

Not one to leave an idea in song alone, the group has embraced development in Africa within the platform to host a Youth Conference this past April 2006 and are now the energy behind the Sweetmother Tour, which will use the arts as a powerful tool to develop the arts in Africa. The group hopes to show undiscovered bands in an alternative, positive view of Africa and win the hearts of music fans globally too. Who knows, I could catch up with them in Nairobi.

Soulfege, the diaspora applauds you!


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