The story of Chicago Afrobeat Project begins a short 15 years ago.

In 2002, a group of musicians sharing a common interest in West African rhythms met to jam in a West side artist loft on Chicago’s Lake Street. Quickly they realized that mixing afrobeat with Chicago house, indie rock, hip-hop, or jazz opened new avenues for experimentation. Something clicked. The group had found a collective calling.
Fast-forward 15 years, hundreds of tour dates, and four studio releases, and the group has found ways of interpreting afrobeat through American urban sounds. Through it all, CAbP has been at the center of the emergence of the North American afrobeat scene. In its newest release, What Goes Up(September 15, 2017) the band features special guest and legendary innovative drummer Tony Allen, as well as many Chicago vocalists and MCs.

Allen, once exclaimed by Brian Eno as “perhaps the greatest drummer who ever lived,” plays kit on all 10 tracks, recording his signature beats behind the band and vocalists. This collaboration makes Chicago Afrobeat Project the first American band to produce a full-length studio record with Tony Allen.

Taking the vocal helm on the album are Akenya (Noname, Chance the Rapper), JC Brooks, Kiara Lanier, Legit (Chance the Rapper), Ugochi, Oranmiyan and Rico Sisney/Maggie Vagle (Sidewalk Chalk). The band’s new vocal-laden approach makes the songs of What Goes Up concise and intentional, and markedly different from CAbP’s prior recordings.

A staple of the American live music scene for years, the band’s live show now combines its historically instrumental style with the new vocal approach. Crowds feed off the spontaneity of the soloists and enthusiasm of the band.

Chicago Afrobeat Project has been a 100% independent artist since day one, with its new release What Goes Upfollowing suit.

“Chicago Afrobeat Project and Tony Allen ask What Goes Up” from Music Africa

This article originally appeared on Music Africa.

by Oris Aigbokhaevbolo

Chicago Afrobeat Project is set to release its fifth album, What Goes Up, on 15 September. The album features Tony Allen on each of its 10 tracks.

The initial plan, according to the band, was to record a couple of songs with the Fela collaborator and co-creator of the Afrobeat sound. That changed with a declaration from the drummer.

“We’re not recording two tracks,” he said. “We’re recording 10 tracks for an album.” With those words work towards What Goes Up began. The collaboration has now yielded what the band calls their “most musically expansive album to date”. The album, says the band, is the first in North America to feature Tony Allen on every track.

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“Afropop Premiere: Chicago Afrobeat Project’s ‘Race Hustle'” from Afropop Worldwide

This article originally appeared on Afropop Worldwide.

Afropop is pleased to premiere Chicago Afrobeat Project’s new single, “Race Hustle,” from the upcoming album What Goes Up.

Born out of a jam in west side Chicago in 2002, the band now marks a milestone in its career with this release. When they flew Fela Kuti’s original drummer Tony Allen in from Paris, hoping to gain some knowledge straight from the source, through several events including workshops, the group was originally planning to record two songs with him as well. But realizing the vibe in the studio was so strong—playing with CAbP reminded Allen of sessions with Fela himself, he said—the master drummer decided that the music had to keep flowing. They recorded a 10-song album together, resulting in the first Tony Allen collaboration in North America.

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Management:

Sound + Air Music Group
david@soundandair.com
312.404.4530

Booking:

Luc Parcell
Sound + Air Music Group
luc@soundandair.com
630.802.3685

Media:

Ron Kadish
rock paper scissors, inc.
ron@rockpaperscissors.biz
812.961.3722

Studio/Recording:

Kevin Ford
Fullerton Recording Studios
kevin@fullertonrecording.com
312.925.8979