Afrobeat originated in Nigeria in the ’70s and gained traction thanks to Fela Kuti, who took his cues from both traditional sources and American funk and soul. Since Kuti’s death in 1997, Afrobeat has spread across the world, even landing in Austin with the local outfit Hard Proof. Much like the musical melting pop that is Austin, the group mixes their Fela Kuti-inspired sounds with elements of jazz, funk, samba, psychedelia, and more, resulting in a musical stew that can move even the shyest of dancers. The 10-piece ensemble started as a Sunday afternoon side project for members of Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears, the Echocentrics, and the Calm Blue Sea, but it’s quickly grown into a different beast altogether.
The best way to experience Hard Proof is through their high-energy, frenetic live shows, and today’s song of the day is a perfect example of that. Recorded live in KUTX’s Studio 1A, “Lots” twists and turns through polyrhythms, horns, and a fiery melody. Grab a download below and catch them at ACL Fest 2014!
*Friday, Oct 3 – 9:30 a.m., KUTX Live at the Four Seasons
*Sunday, Oct 5 – 11:15 a.m., Austin Ventures Stage