Sila and the Afrofunk Experience | Funkiest Man in Africa

Go To Artist Page

Recommended if You Like
Fela Kuti James Brown

Album Links
Sila and the Afrofunk Experience Bitmunk GreatIndieMusic GroupieTunes Nexhit Tradebit PayPlay Apple iTunes

More Artists From
United States - California - SF

Other Genres You Will Love
World: World Fusion World: World Beat Moods: Mood: Upbeat
There are no items in your wishlist.

Funkiest Man in Africa

by Sila and the Afrofunk Experience

Sila and The Afrofunk Experience blend traditional African rhythms, Afrobeat, Afro-Latin, reggae and funk, resulting in an upbeat, multiculti celebration that's guaranteed to keep you glued to the dance floor.
Genre: World: World Fusion
Release Date: 

We'll ship when it's back in stock

Order now and we'll ship when it's back in stock, or enter your email below to be notified when it's back in stock.
Sign up for the CD Baby Newsletter
Your email address will not be sold for any reason.
Continue Shopping
cd in stock order now
Buy 2 or more of this title and get 20% off
Share to Google +1

Tracks

Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.

To listen to tracks you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin.

Sorry, there has been a problem playing the clip.

  song title
share
time
download
1. Got No Money, Get No Respect
Share this song!
X
4:15 $0.99
2. Ambush
Share this song!
X
5:50 $0.99
3. Katika (dance)
Share this song!
X
6:31 $0.99
4. Dancing Shoes
Share this song!
X
4:27 $0.99
5. Boom Boom Boom
Share this song!
X
4:43 $0.99
6. Why?
Share this song!
X
2:56 $0.99
7. Funkiest Man in Africa
Share this song!
X
2:50 $0.99
8. Justice
Share this song!
X
3:38 $0.99
9. Get Up
Share this song!
X
3:46 $0.99
10. Mandingo
Share this song!
X
3:55 $0.99
11. Wanibamba
Share this song!
X
4:14 $0.99
12. Cry
Share this song!
X
4:18 $0.99
preview all songs

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Sila's Afrofunk gets down, feels good
by Christina Troup, The San Francisco Examiner

On Sunday, the Grammys enlisted a high-octave pop princess to pay tribute to the late James Brown, but had the Recording Academy considered doing the Godfather of Soul justice, Victor Sila would have been called upon instead.

Let’s just say the “hardest working man in show business” and Sila, the Kenyan-born frontman of the San Francisco-based outfit Sila and the Afrofunk Experience, have a lot more in common than the “Genie in the Bottle” balladeer.

On Saturday, Sila and his fellow funkateers pay tribute to James Brown and afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti at the Independent in San Francisco.

As a child growing up in a small village in Kenya, Sila remembers tuning in to a shortwave radio for the latest pop offerings from the West. By way of a faint, crackling radio signal, Sila first became acquainted with the guttural howls and shrieks of the Minister of Funk.

“One of the first James Brown songs I remember hearing on shortwave radio was ‘I Feel Good.’ Growing up very poor in my village and having a song like that play on the radio was very inspiring,” Sila, 36, says.

His exposure to James Brown, along with such artists as the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley, inspired Sila to pursue music, which he says was far from a well-respected profession in Africa.

Despite his career choice, his parents supported his decision and sold cows and goats to raise money for his send-off to the U.S.

Sila’s pursuit of musical stardom was met with the heartbreak of rejection and he eventually found himself lost, an imposter of sorts, singing pedestrian pop tunes while trying to mask a heavy Kenyan accent.

It wasn’t until he stumbled upon a sold-out show by African artist Baaba Maal at the Fillmore that he realized he needed to change course.

“This was the first African artist I saw in concert singing in his own language. He was so full of life. This was the most touching experience for me and I was almost in tears. I had really forgotten who I was,” he says.

Embracing his African roots and his love of funk, Sila channeled James Brown for inspiration and six years later, with the help of his renowned cast of bandmates, he’s achieved success without having to compromise his heritage (he sings in both Swahili and English) or his musical tastes.

“James Brown has always been someone who’s influenced me quite a bit. From his perseverance to his political life and his very poor background, it’s all been an inspiration to me. … His determination and the fact that he never gave up — I see that in me,” Sila says.

“When I came here I never imagined I would sell out venues and entertain people in a way that James Brown entertained me. Believe me, I’m not saying I’m the next James Brown, but I do feel he’s in the soul of music.”


Reviews


to write a review

Deanne Sole

Funkiest Man In Africa, someone should start a cult around it
Victor Sila doesn’t wear an I Hart Fela Kuti t-shirt but he doesn’t need to. He’s made an album that says it for him. He gets the message across in his saxophone jags, in his lightly Kutified groove, and in the huffing shouts of, “Ah ha!” and “Ay ya!” that seem designed to kick your heartrate along. In the title song he even imitates Kuti’s Nigerian-Creole English. He’s not courting Kutiesque controversy though. He wants everyone to be friends and dance, dance, dance. Dance to soukous, dance to funk, dance to reggae, dance to “Dancing Shoes”, a song that he made for the Americans who were struck by Hurricane Katrina. “Dancing Shoes” advises traumatised people to forget their troubles and “put on your dancing shoes”, which sounds facile under the circumstances but Sila delivers this advice with such evident joy that after a while you want to think that he’s absolutely right, and that the troubles of the planet really can be averted if we all ask ourselves “why, oh-h why?” and decide to “be the change you want to see in the world”. He makes it sound so good and right and healthy. Funkiest Man In Africa is so glad to be alive, someone should start a cult around it.

J-Sin

Take a listen and you just might become inspired.
Sila grew up in Kenya in a small impoverished village and took the words of his grandmother to heart when she said “Life has meaning only in the struggle. Triumph or defeat is in the hands of the Gods. So let us celebrate the struggle.” That statement is affirming and one to ponder for decades. Thirty years later, Sila remembers that talk on his new funky album “Funkiest Man in Africa”. Fusing funk, soul, and reggae with African rhythms, Sila accomplishes a feat that many from that village would think impossible. Take a listen and you just might become inspired.

Peter Koht - Metro Santa Cruz

Sila and his Afro Funk Experience are in the energy exchange business
The sounds that most of us know as Afrobeat are born out of the crowded streets of West African cities like Lagos, Accra and Abidjan. Combining the polyrhythmic percussion of indigenous West African music with Fenders and brass, Afrobeat trundled up from the underground to denounce dictatorship, corruption and oppression while still treating dancers and music fans to a seriously good time. Sila, hailing from the East African nation of Kenya, has the same mission, but named his own brand of music Afrofunk, an updated sound that incorporates more trace elements of hip-hop and soul. Sila and his Afro Funk Experience are in the energy exchange business: you give it up, they give it back with interest!

Eric K. Arnold - East Bay Express

Seriously funky good time!
Kenyan expatriate Victor Sila is a man on a mission: to have a seriously funky good time. The founder of a style he calls Afro-funk, he has also named his band the Afro-Funk Experience, which is basically what will happen to you... The Experience's sets are invariably long, sweaty labors of love -- in addition to syncopated grooves, percussive breaks, and Sila's fervent multilingual vocals, there's another, more interactive element. Simply put, the more love you show Sila and company when they're onstage, the more they'll return to you. Now go tell your momma 'bout that.

NITEVIBE BUZZ

Serious session on the dancefloor!
What do you get when you combine traditional African rhythms with the sexiness of Prince, soul of Otis Redding and a little James Brown funk? Come find out as Sila and the Afro-funk Experience spread the ultimate international vibe... With Kenyan roots and a progressive love of American music, this will be a serious session on the dancefloor and a unique education for your ears.

Jason Jurgens, The Owl Magazine

Multiple spins of Sila and the Afrofunk Experience's Funkiest Man in Africa have
Heart racing. Legs shaking. Sweat beading on the forehead. Multiple spins of Sila and the Afrofunk Experience's Funkiest Man in Africa have left me intoxicated. I have been funk-de-fied by the African and Latin grooves, ripe with reggae and hip-hop.

Funkiest Man in Africa is rooted in the main principles of funk - thick bass lines, one or two guitar riffs (often muted) and syncopated rhythms (think Sly & the Family Stone). By adding Sila's part James Brown/part Swahili vocals, Africanized beats, impeccable horns and indigenous talking drums (thank you percussionist Samba Guisse), Sila & the AFE has created a unque sound: AfroFunk. Sila’s lyrics are often politically charged and heavy, but you'll have no problem losing yourself in the jams, especially on "Ambush" and "Katika (Dance)."

A Kenyan transplant, Sila gives more to the world than just great music. He and his fellow band mates work tirelessly to raise funds for UNICEF.

Eric Arnold, East Bay Express

One of the best world music albums this year!
One of the best world music albums this year comes from our own soil. Kenyan expatriate and SF resident Sila's debut CD with the AfroFunk Experience draws from a wide variety of influences like Curtis Mayfield, Bob Marley, and Fela Kuti. It also covers a diverse spectrum of African-inflected sounds — from Nigerian Afrobeat to Congolese soukous to South African township jive to Senegalese Casamance music to Afro-Brazilian samba to Jamaican reggae. The grooves remain focused, though, and Sila's impassioned vocals, sung mainly in English, easily move from Fela-esque sing-speak to traditional call-and-response to poignant balladry. He's just as effective at party-oriented tunes like "Dancing Shoes" as on socially aware anthems. Throbbing melodic lines inform every track, delivered with reggae-style bass lines, soulful guitar runs, extended percussion breaks, and horn arrangements which span the gamut from punchy to melancholy. If he's not the funkiest man in all of Africa, Sila can at least claim that title for the Bay Area.

Chris Heim -Global Rhythm

Smartly produced and fun set
Kenyan-born, San Francisco-based singer, songwriter and leader of the eight-piece Afrofunk Experience band Victor Sila originally wanted to be an R&B singer. Hints of that remain in his appealingly light and breathy vocals and the shades of Marvin Gaye or even Sade on this new CD. But African styles and rhythms are the heart here, most obviously in the sweet, lilting King Sunny Ade-styled “Dancing Shoes”; a soukous-flavored “Wanibamba,” which borrows from Kanda Bongo Man; and “Ambush,” with its Fela-like Afrobeat sound and social commentary. “Get Up” and “Cry” are rooted in reggae, while “Mandingo” showcases gritty funk. The punchy horn section gives the disc a strong contemporary jazz feel. But if the sources of inspiration are many, the sound is consistent and cohesive. This smartly produced and fun set documents one of a growing number of American-based bands using African styles to create music that is all their own.

Pop Culture Press

Sila and the Afrofunk Experience - Funkiest Man in Africa
Native Kenyan and current resident of San Francisco, Victor Sila brings together his deep Afrobeat influences with a band of slick Bay Area jazz/funk musicians on Funkiest Man in Africa, which has been described as a direct musical tribute to Afrobeat king, Fela Kuti. It isn't quite up to the level of the legendary Nigerian's recordings and the band is grittier and less grovvy than Fela's band, but Sila is a charismatic vocalist who sings in both English and Swahili while the band holds its own. Listening to this makes visions of hibiscus margaritas at the fabulous Bissop Baobab (Senegalese restaurant in San Francisco's Mission District) go dancing through my head. Sigh…

Aidin Vaziri, San Francisco Chronicle

Vibrant, exciting soukous and Afro-beat sounds
The band reflects the vibrant, exciting soukous and Afro-beat sounds of the musician's homeland in its new, dance-floor-friendly album, "Funkiest Man in Africa."
1 2