Africa Oyé announces first set of acts for 2020 festival

Female pan-African supergroup, Les Amazones D'Afrique, Ghanian highlife stars, Santrofi, and Cameroonian songstress Valerie Ekoume will all take to the Liverpool Sefton Park stage for Africa Oyé 2020 when the festival returns on 20–21 June 2020.

An all-female collective of West African musicians, Les Amazones D'Afrique made a huge impact across the globe with their 2017 debut album, République Amazone. Singing out against gender inequality, FGM and ancestral violence, the group firmly believe that "music has the potential to be a weapon against the systematic disempowerment of women across Africa and beyond". Their music is richly melodic and far-ranging, blending pan-African styles and collaborative harmonies with gritty, contemporary pop.

Following in the footsteps of Ebo Taylor and Pat Thomas & the Kwashibu Area Band, Santrofi is a collective of celebrated young musicians known well within Ghana’s music circles. After extensive touring with the aforementioned stars of their homeland, bassist/producer Emmanuel Ofori rose to form his own collective, deeply informed by vintage Ghanaian highlife music in all its variations. These sounds range from the smelting, soulful highlife, that can only be nurtured by Accra’s afternoon scorch, to the riveting fast-paced pulse of 70s dance-guitar highlife. Or from the other-worldly sound of highlife funk to 50s big band highlife and the polyrhythmic beats and melodies that took Afrobeat across the globe.

Growing up in a family of musicians, Valérie Ekoumè is a French-Cameroonian singer who was raised listening to various musical styles, from congolese rumba and traditional Cameroonian music to mainstream eighties pop. For her latest album, Ekoumè has teamed up with producer, arranger and drummer Guy Nwogang, digging deeper into her Cameroonian roots.

This first wave artist reveal comes off the back of a call to action for all fans of the festival, as organisers stressed the importance of donations, sponsorship and investment in ensuring the event remains free entry and open to all. To donate to Africa Oyé online, supporters can click the Paypal donate button on the africaoye.com homepage.

Africa Oyé is a registered charity and partially funded by Arts Council England and Liverpool City Council.

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