We first-generation African immigrants continue to marvel at the fact that Nigerian and Ghanaian Afrobeats can now be heard on rotation at your local CVS. There was a time when major record companies were not clamoring to sign young African artists to their labels, but now that the sound is pertinent to any Brooklyn party worth speaking about, those artists and producers are now in demand. In response to Afrobeats' popularity among many music lovers and YouTube dance stars, DJ Nenim brings us his selection of “Gbedu Afrobeats.”
DJ Nenim began his career in his home city of Lagos, Nigeria, where he was at the forefront of musical taste. He then moved to New York in 2014 and continued spinning Afrobeat, highlife, Afrofunk, jazz and house music. With an incredible appreciation for the older wave of Afrobeat and an ear to the ground deejaying at popular New York City dance spots like Shrine in Harlem and Bembe in Brooklyn, he has curated this mix with sensitivity to the arc the music has taken into the new wave of Afrobeats.
DJ Nenim explains that gbedu in Yoruba tradition is a type of ceremonial drum and also means “a good party.” “Gbedu Afrobeats” is also the name of the weekly Wednesday party at Bembe he started with Visvie Entertainment. This party mix is jam-packed with the hottest hits by Ghanaian and Nigerian artists leading the pack, as well as Toofan from Togo, C4 Pedro from Angola and Ag da Profit from Liberia. We also get a bit of South African kwaito and gqom in the pot, which brings a welcome change in vibe but still maintains Afrobeats’ driving beat. This mix is a wonderful compilation of all the high points Afrobeats has had in recent years and will continue to have as it spreads across the diaspora and gains momentum.
Catch DJ Nenim (sounds like denim) deejaying every Wednesday at Bembe (Brooklyn), every Thursday at Shrine (Harlem), alternating Fridays between Ponty Bistro (Harlem) and Renaissance Lounge (Harlem), and finally, Bier International on Saturdays.