With its first edition seeing acts from all over Africa bringing great sounds to the source of the Nile, this year's promises to be even better.
Already some of Africa’s most innovative electronic acts have been confirmed for the three-day music festival, which has lined up over 50 acts from all over the world, including many who will performing in East Africa for the first time.
Mamman Sani from Niger is considered a legend of African electronic music. In the 1970 he composed and performed keyboard scores for television and radio in Niger, creating popular and mysterious African library music that has enjoyed a revival of late thanks to Sahel Sounds re-issuing his first two solo albums, Taaritt and La Musique Electronique du Niger, as well as Unreleased Tapes 1981-1984. His upcoming performance at Nyege Nyege will be the first time this highly influential figure performs in any other African country outside Niger.
Another Nigerien act signed to Sahel Sounds, Les Filles de Illighadad, hail from a remote desert village and will give one of their first public performances at the festival. The duo of guitarist Fatou Seidi Ghali and vocalist Alamnou Akrouni will showcase the different sides of the Tuareg music - dreamy ishumar acoustic guitar sessions and the hypnotic polyphonic tende that inspires it.
Also coming from North Africa are electronica collective Arabstazy, who will present the latest trends of electro-chaabi, Moroccan bass and more; Malian balani pioneer DJ Sandji; and DJ Gamra from Tunisia, among others.
Jomaaga is a new crew made up of Moroccan producer Gan Gah, Belgian producer Max le Daron and the talented rapper Joey le Soldat from Burkina Faso. They will stage the world premiere of their new album at the festival. “They’ve been working on this project to be released on Akwaaba Records for over a year, and we are really honored that this will be the first time ever for the three of them to perform together on an international stage,” say the organizers.
Enigmatic Senegalese producer Ibaaku will be showcasing his unique take on West African electronica. Since establishing himself as part of the duo I-Science, he will be heading to shows in France, Belgium and Sweden in July as a solo performer following the success of tracks like 'Djula Dance' (which featured in one of our recent video playlists) ahead of appearance at Nyege Nyege.
Uganda will meanwhile be represented by a host of the country's most innovative acts, including the West Nile Band, who fuse traditional and electronic influences; and pioneering female artist DJ Rachael. From neighbouring Kenya, also currently enjoying rapid growth in its electronic scene, the festival will host the likes of Jinku, Shoeshine Boy, Nu Fvnk and Ukweli.
From South Africa, named Dance Nation of the Year at the prestigious DJ Awards in the global party mecca of Ibiza in Spain late last year, DJ Spoko will bring his trademark 'bacardi house' sound to Nyege Nyege. Another fresh SA talent making waves internationally who will be performing is producer Aero Manyelo, who will showcase his own recognizable style that bends electro sounds and African rhythms into hypnotic yet club-ready tracks. Considered one of the most intriguing new names of the constantly-evolving global club music scene, Aero Manyelo is also part of the exciting new trio Batuk that is currently touring Europe.
Coming from further afield will be the likes of Schlachthofbronx (Germany), Debmaster (France), Pterradacto (USA), Max Le Daron (Belgium), Intiche (Argentina), Please the Trees (Czech Republic), Akwaaba's BBrave (Ghana/France), Cybersnack (Germany) and DJ Relic (UK). German-based duo Gato Preto, made up of of Gata Misteriosa (Mozambique/Portugal) and Lee Bass (Ghana/Germany) will bring their high energy performance for the first time to East Africa. In October 2015 they performed in South Africa for the African Futures festival.
More acts are set to be confirmed soon, so keep an eye on the full line-up on the Nyege Nyege website. Watch highlights from last year's festival in the video below.