Introducing Antibalas Offspring Fu-Arkist-Ra

Fearlessly combining Afrobeat with Chinese mysticism

No fighting outside the ring.
Stefan Hoareau
No fighting outside the ring.

This was all apparently based on real, long-past events from Amayo's childhood experiences in Ghana. "I cried my way home," he told me, laughing. "My grandmother chased me back out, and I had to review myself. . . . It's all about being strong and steadfast." Still, the way he glides about the stage, eagerly jabbing at his phantom opponent and taking imaginary blows to the face, audiences can't know whether he is playing the role of a scrappy, displaced adolescent or a desperately overmatched sifu. So long as every head in the club is feeling it, what's the difference? But alas, those heads numbered a mere 50, outnumbering the orchestra only about 4-to-1. Amayo has tapped into something healthy and uncompromisingly positive, but the frustrating truth is that the Fu-Arkist-Ra are, at least for the moment, too far out there for most. Perhaps it's best that today's music-industrial complex expects this kind of thing to be languishing in dank bars and baby performing-arts centers, where it has instead been flourishing, uncompromised, for those who may so happen to stumble upon it.

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