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The Wedding Jam Blog

Unforgettable stories from unforgettable Weddings.

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Six Afrobeat and Afrofunk Cuts to Give Your Wedding a Carnival Vibe

When a wedding is lucky enough to be blessed by sunshine, there’s not much better than some sun-drenched Afrobeat vibes to soundtrack those pre-dinner drinks outside or on the terrace. We’ve dusted off some of our favourite Afrobeat and Afrofunk tunes to help you give your dream summer wedding that carnival atmosphere.

Atakak

Lokonon André & Les Volcans De la Capital - Mi Kple Dogbekpo

This rip-roaring slice of Afrofunk was the opening track on the celebrated compilation African Scream Contest - Raw & Psychedelic Afro Sounds from Benin & Togo 70s. If that alone doesn’t sell it to you, we’re not sure what will. Raw, groovy and super passionate - no party in the sun should be without it.

Rob - Make it Fast, Make it Slow

Brought to a wider audience when sampled by hip-hop maestro and self-styled ‘King of the Beats’ J Dilla, Make It Fast, Make It Slow was released in 1978 by Ghanaian Afrofunkmeister Rob. It’s an overtly sensual affair, it must be said, and the glorious West African rhythms and arrangements, blended with an unmistakably American rhythm & blues vibe, make it a surefire winner in the sun.

Horoya Band National - Apollo

This flamboyant Guinean band formed in the early 60s and, frankly, precious little seems to be known about them. What we do know is ‘Apollo’ is a love song that exudes the kind of joie-de-vivre only Afrobeat can. The soaring horns, charismatic vocals, nagging percussion and the sort of guitar lines pilfered by the likes of Graceland-era Paul Simon and Vampire Weekend, make it a proper feelgood hit for the summer. Irresistible.

William Onyeabor - Fantastic Man

Now pretty well-known thanks to a 2014 documentary, and a subsequent blaze of publicity, that lifted the Nigerian funkster out of decades of total obscurity, ‘Fantastic Man’ leaves you wondering how on earth this guy was ever remotely obscure. An exuberant and almost life-affirming six minute Afrofunk jam that will lift any party.

Ata Kak - Daa Nyinaa

The mysterious Ata Kak has lived to tell a story to rival anything fiction can offer. Inadvertently rescued from the utter obscurity of selling his home-made cassettes on a Ghanaian market by the brilliant Awesome Tapes from Africa, Ata Kak makes an absolutely mad and ecstatic blend of African Highlife, rap, funk, house and electronica. ‘Daa Nyinaa’ is taken from his now cult status ‘Obaa Sima’ album - and we reckon the OED dictionary definition of ‘joy’ should simply link to that album and particularly this track. It was made to make you smile.

Joni Haastrup - Wake Up Your Mind

Reissued in 2011 and originally recorded in 1978, this total funkfest has a more Western feel while at the same time remaining unmistakably Afrobeat. The elastic superfunkytown bassline will have people who didn’t even know they liked Afrofunk moving and grooving, as Haastrup cries “so wake up Africans!” and “it is time to project our culture / it is time to project our way of life”. You’re damn right it is, Joni!