Wah Wah 45s are proud to present the full debut album from Afrobeat supergroupEparapo. Having come togetherduring the unprecedented events of the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement, and despite being a project born from the privations of lockdown, their music is ultimately an expression of hope, resilience & resurgence.
The word "eparapo" means "join forces" in Yoruba, the language of Afrobeat. It's also the title of a track by the late, greatTony Allen- drummer for Afrobeat legendFela Kutiand lifelong friend and mentor of our very own "Afrobeat Ambassador",Dele Sosimi. Not only did Tony help to invent Afrobeat, he always looked for ways to push the boundaries, never content with recreating what had gone before but constantly expanding and developing the genre. This project hopes to pay homage to his legacy, and that of Fela Kuti himself. Its aim is to innovate, fuse and diversify while still retaining the essence of the music.
The force behind Eparapo is bassist, composer & producerSuman Joshi.He has been a member of Dele Sosimi's Afrobeat Orchestra for nearly a decade and has performed on stage with the likes of Tony Allen, Seun Kuti, Ginger Baker & Laura Mvula. He is also bassist with UK jazz ensemble Collocutor and fusion project Cubafrobeat.
"The Eparapo project was conceived during a time of lockdowns & government scandals. The music that makes up this album was written and recorded against a backdrop of societal upheaval, culture wars and rising wealth inequality. With little scrutiny or resistance from the mainstream media, our human and democratic rights were being eroded and our institutions debased. Even our right to protest is now under threat. This is a call to action, an expression of frustration & anger at what our nation has become. It's saying that enough is enough, it's time to join forces and make our voices heard. It's time to take to the streets."Suman Joshi
The title track is an epic eleven minute musical representation of this frustration and anger, where the musicians really let loose and allow their voices to be heard. As the only instrumental track on the album it acts as a call to action that is central to this body of work. Featured vocalists on the album are Fela Kuti disciple and Wah Wah 45s artistDele Sosimi, who appears on the singlesBlack Lives Matter,From London To LagosandWho Invented Back & White?as well as a more recent recording,Follow The Money; and London based, Ghanaian born master percussionist and vocalistAfla Sackey, who takes lead vocals on the mournful yet somehow hopefulBeautiful City.
The rest of the group comprises of highly rated UK jazz vocalistSahra Gure; saxophonist, composer, producer and bandleader of the renowned forward thinking jazz outfit Collocutor,Tamar Osborn; keyboard player, producer and front man for Lokkhi Terra and Cubafrobeat,Kishon Khan; one of the UK's finest and most in demand trumpeters,Graeme Flowers, who has played with Quincy Jones, Gregory Porter and many more; trombonist for Bellowhead and mainstay of Dele's Afrobeat Orchestra,Justin Thurgur; and finally drummer for Steamdown and Sons of Kemet, as well as the man behind the Nache project,Eddie Wakili Hick.
The album will be available digitally and limited edition vinyl LP, with striking artwork by our award winning designer Animisiewasz.