Afropop Classic October 28, 2021
The Nyege Nyege Villa: East African Hub of the Electronic Music Underground

In 2018, the renowned music journal Fact boldly claimed that “the world’s best electronic music festival is in Uganda.” In only a few years, Nyege Nyege has indeed become one of the hottest artistic hubs in East Africa, birthing two music labels that propelled local scenes across the globe, such as Ugandan acholitronix or Tanzanian singeli. At the heart of this explosive universe lies a big house, known as “the villa,” that almost constantly vibrates with sounds as musicians from the region and beyond tirelessly produce, exchange skills, and frenetically party until dawn. Despite reducing the villa’s bubbling flow, COVID-19 didn’t silence it, and the house kept on nurturing its community of underground musicians. In this episode, we hear from producer Basile Koechlin who met at the villa some of the current residents and other members of the Nyege Nyege nebula. Through a patchwork of stories, soundscapes, and fresh musical releases, we hear more about this unique and strange place that came to host and generate a crucial part of underground electronic music production in East Africa.

Produced by Basile Koechlin

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