Afroboogie Interview
by Brett Long

Nelson - Afroboogie PR I can't recall being as excited about a new artist/producer as I am with these guys... song after song, tune after tune, one release after another, they command my attention. I purchased a 12" with a track on it that I liked, played a few times, and was very happy with it... it was turning in to a 'gem.' As every DJ will tell you, there are these moments of discovery when you flip a record, only to find an even better 'gem' that had previously escaped you... That was the case for me, and that's what led me to AFROBOOGIE. This was it!! How did I miss this J-A-M the first time around?!! These beats are SLAMMIN!

Suddenly, my gem had turned into a masterpiece, and I was compelled to email the label, so I could share with these artists what an impact they've had on me. I had an immediate response... these guys mean business and they are on top of what they're doing. During our correspondence, I sensed a different energy about the music. There was definitely more excitement than usual and a passion for the experience. It was obvious that the person on the other end shared a love for the music, and I wanted to know more.

Since this initial introduction and my first exposure to them, I've watched and listened as Afroboogie continues to command attention; and best of all, they don't compromise to receive it. They are working earnestly while achieving a sound that continues to surface at the top of my playlist, along with others like Tom Stephan, Chus, Palash, Pillivian & Zimabardo, Marcello Castelli, That Kid Chris, and more.

The Afroboogie sound is dark and dirty, heavy with drums. They combine elements of progressive with house and basslines with funk, and then complement the vibe with a percussive groove. It's all done with finesse, definitely not your standard tribal-fare. The production is skilled and first class, impressing some of the toughest 'ears' I know.

Currently, their label that shares the Afroboogie name is on its 4th release, "The Time," by Voodoo People, in stores now. Grab it quick, as I've seen their titles flying out the door at both local vinyl shops, ED's and Satellite. And people come back wanting more. Not one to disappoint, Afroboogie is ready.

The 5th release is from Portugal artist Cytric and titled "Work That Shit." And with an AFROBOOGIE remix on it, I'm sure it will. The follow-up to Voodoo People's "My Mind," is due for a June release, after being pushed back for a compilation mixed by the "Kings of Tribal," Pilliavin & Zimbardo, for their Distraek Sessions Vol 1 (distributed by Intergroove). And if that's not enough, they've done a remix of "Con La Musica" by Ralphi Rosario & Martin Fry, which will be released on Atlanta label, Overtones Music. Additionally, Afroboogie has just been added for distribution throughout North America via the Balance Record Pool... ensuring their work will reach the hands (and ears) of even more jocks, sure to appreciate their unique sound, and in turn, play it for their lucky dancefloors.

The top-ranks of the music industry should take note; with the world of dance music within their reach (and an undoubted wink & nod to Tenaglia), Afroboogie says in their track, "Muthafunka," what no one has said better than Coburn himself: "Well you just look over your shoulder, cause from now on I'm gonna be right behind you... " They are poised to strike, and I for one am glad I've have a front row seat!!

Lunar had a chance to catch up with Afroboogie for more insight into this rising star:

Nelson - Afroboogie PR photo Lunar: Beginning as a DJ in 1989, you were surely playing records & using turntables. What are your first memories of vinyl? How and when did learn to mix?

Afroboogie: I had first been a DJ in an alternative club playing anything from goth to indie. In those days I couldn't mix, but I got a lucky break at a very famous club in Johannesburg in those days called Bella Napoli. It was there that I started to mix records into each other, playing anything from a Depeche Mode 12" to early house music. Tracks from Giorgio Moroder, Lil Louie's "French Kiss" and Technotronic were before the acid house arrived. In those days, we were living during the apartheid era in South Africa; with that we were pretty much sanctioned in everything, so getting music was rather expensive, having to buy everything with 'Import' prices on them.

Lunar: How has moving to Antwerp, Belgium from South Africa affected your career? How long have you lived in Antwerp?

Afroboogie: I left South Africa end of 2001 and stayed in London for a bit over a year and then moved to Antwerp, where life is more chilled yet close enough to London, Paris and most other European cities. I moved to Europe to take on my future more seriously; I am here to pursue my dreams and goals, and although it's been a bit tough getting used to the different lifestyle, I have learnt a lot about the industry here and how it all works and made a lot of friends and contacts along the way.

Lunar: What are your long term goals? Where do you see yourself 10 years from now? 20?

Afroboogie: I have been a DJ for so many years, and I don't think I'll give that up very soon. It's what makes me happy and motivates me; as long as I'm doing that, I'll keep progressing towards my goals and hopefully achieve them. I want success but I'm not in a rush for it. These things take time, and when I look at my peers, they have all been doing this for many years.

Lunar: Some artists and musicians take odd-jobs which support their efforts to pursue and create their art. Have you worked a crazy job while pursuing your music career?

Afroboogie: I haven't worked an odd job since I was about 16 where I worked in a liquor store. Since the age of 17 I have lived off my DJ career. I guess I started early and long before the DJ craze came about. If I could take an odd job, I would love to work in a zoo or something with animals. So if you are a zookeeper and need some help, call me.

Lunar: What do you think it takes to 'make it' in this industry? Not only achieve stability and security, but also be considered at the 'top of your game' by your peers? And the millions of people globally that enjoy dance music?

Nelson - Afroboogie PR photo Afroboogie: Music production is the only way for a DJ to promote himself onto the global market. It creates awareness and brings the press onto you. There are many other things involved, but yeah, that's pretty much it. You know, there are so many great DJs in every little town or big city across the world, you need something to make you stand out in the crowd.

Lunar: Growing up in South Africa, what kind of music did you experience and hear everyday? What musical influences from your childhood are still present today?

Afroboogie: I grew up in the 80's, so was very into Depeche Mode, U2, Talk Talk, Duran Duran (yeah I know its a girly band, lol)...anyway....stuff like that I still enjoy listening to. I was into music from a very young age. I have two older sisters that were into all kinds of stuff in the 70's too, so I kinda grew up with a good knowledge across the board. I think my oldest recollection of music when I was really small was tracks like Nena's "99 Red Balloons," Soft Cell's "Tainted Love" and a horrid Cliff Richard track called "Devil Woman"...LOL

Lunar: When you go out to dance, who do you hear? Who are the DJs that inspire you?

Afroboogie: To be honest, I don't go out all that much anymore. When I do, it's always only for a couple of hours. I'll go hear a DJ, have a few drinks, and then leave. I used to go out a lot more, but I kinda chilled out a lot. But I have seen many good DJs, and better yet, I supported most of them, normally with the warm up sets. I'm not sure I get all that inspired by DJs anymore; I get inspired now by hearing great productions. I've DJ'd for over 15 years professionally, so I've seen almost everything a DJ can do, both good and bad.

Lunar: By car, Atlanta is 2-3 hours away from other smaller cities, and 7+ hours away from a city comparably sized [population, region, etc]. How does the close proximity of countries & cities in Europe affect the dance culture there?

Afroboogie: Well, it's all close, so it's easy to get any top DJ to play at your event or club. I haven't been here all that long and can't say I've cracked the European scene yet. But it does make things easier, as a short flight to another major city is within a couple of hours. To drive from here to Paris is about a 3 hour journey. To London it's about 6 hours.

Lunar: How has the internet changed your life compared to 10 years ago? How has it changed your ability to search and access others' productions and promote/distribute your own music?

Afroboogie: It's done more than change my life; it's revolutionized me as a person. I no longer have a social life except with my computer and internet. I'm on this thing all day and night, so it's kinda like fucked up my life. The bright side however is that I've made many friends, and I know that if I ever come to Atlanta, I've got a place to crash for a few nights, so I wont need to cough up the hotel expense...LOL. On a serious note, yeah the internet has made life so much easier. I buy most of my music off the net, I can shop where I want when I want without having to leave the house. For me though, the best part about it has to be the promotion capabilities that can be achieved through the net...very good invention. Did you know that it was invented by a scientist at a high tech and remote place somewhere in Switzerland called CERN?

Thanks go out to Afroboogie and Brett Long for setting up the interview.

Link: www.satelliterecords.com

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