Dirk Leyers (Africaine 808) on LusAfro in Praia, Cape…

How was the first LusAfro meeting in Praia for you Dirk?

Well, I travelled to Cabo Verde together with Hans my partner from Africaine 808. And yes, it was very nice.

Since i’m a instrumentalist it was really amazing to work with all these musicians over there. It’s hard to find singers and musicians in Berlin with such an unbelievable technique and expression.

They were so quick and tight in the studio. You just give them an idea: I guess it was a recording-session in a hotel-room. We built a microphone-stand out of a lampshade, we installed the mic and recorded the people. Everybody pulled out their pens and they knew that this is going to be the take. They were like: „Ok, let’s do some chorus!“ or „we leave this and drop this“. I guess after 25 minutes everything was recorded and the session was finished. We all had a huge smile on our faces. This was great work. And the exchange was wonderful. Sure, also the possibility to be in Cabo Verde. 

„They just do music together and learn from each other.“

Any highlights?

Beside the recording sessions with the musicians in the studio, it was nice to drive into the hills of Praia and find yourself in a jam-session with the locals. I didn’t really knew how exactly to play certain percussion instruments. There were just 16-84 year old guys jamming and everybody was just so easy, telling me: „Try to play it like this or like that. But hey! all good!“. The music kept bumpin all the time. We were sitting in this place from eight in the evening till the police dropped us out of the place. They came and said it was to loud. It was somehow nice to be in that situation and to see that music can also be totally different to going to a music-school where you learn an instrument and all this procedure. They just do music together and learn from each other.

Check out Africaine 808s music from their 2016 album „Basar


Big Up! LusAfro grand project finale in Club Gretchen,…

After travelling to Praia, Cape Verde in April for a week full of workshops, studio sessions & artistic exchanges & inviting a selection of artists to play Odyssee Festival in Germany LusAfro had its big „Closing Party“ in Berlin on the 25th November.

Gato Preto setting Club Gretchen on fire:


credits to WDR / Cosmo
all eyes on Dama Do Bling! The Rap Superstar from Mozambique delivered a powerful show! Photo credits to WDR / Cosmo



One of the nights highlights! Singer Fattú Djakité & Doom Folk Producer/Singer Perera Elsewhere sharing the stage, performing some fresh unreleased material. from Photo Credits to WDR / Cosmo


Two generations of great Lisbon based artists! DJ Star DJ Marfox & the amazing young talent Breyth turning up the heat!<br />Photo Credits to WDR / COSMO

translating music cultures. Daniel Fernando Wahl (DAFERWA) talks LusAfro

Daniel Fernando Wahl aka DAFERWA was part of the project since it´s first phase in Praia, Cabo Verde. As an experienced promoter, producer, freelancing radio journalist & DJ himself he worked in several areas of the project. His most public role though was his job as a host during the live shows played by the LusAfro artists. Due to the great diversity of the musical performances he offered himself to guide through the concerts.

As he is fluent in Portuguese, German, English & advancing rapidly with his Cape Verdean Creole 😉 he would act as a translator between the artists, the team and not to forget the public audience to which he contextualised the show, the project and the idea of LusAfro.

How would you describe the project LusAfro in 1 sentence?

LusAfro is an interactive project that focuses on the exchange of culture and music between open minded music producers: artists from Germany and lusophone african countries.

Can you talk a bit about the dynamics of the 2nd Phase in Cologne and at Odyssee Festival?

After the first phase of LusAfro in Praia the ice in between the participants was broken. I felt that the confidence which had grown within the 10 days in Praia let the artists fully concentrate on the musical side of the project in Germany. This flow and spontaneous musical energy was definitely hold together by the 3 musicians who weren’t there in Praia during the first phase. Also I could feel that for a lot of the African Artists being in German for the first time got them hyped and encouraged to represent their countries in the best way. Although the Cape Verdean people outnumbered the rest of the group and dominated the musical influence of LusAfro, I guess the fact that being outside of the own „comfort zone“ – no matter where from, which musical profile or fame – lead to a greater artistic and musical vibes during the preparation and the realization of the showcase at the Odyssee Festival.

You worked as moderator & translater during the live shows and also as kind of a connecting piece between artists? What do you feel is your role in the project or more specifically during the life shows?

Fun fact: I lost my „host-virginity“ in Praia. It’s no secret that I like to talk. In Praia my Portuguese-skills pushed me into the role of the translator and communicator between some of the participants. I ended up speaking to everybody, getting involved in what they were working on etc.

I almost lost my voice. I’m used to get on stages because I’m a DJ, the difference here: I let the music speak. So, not being one of the artists but the guy who speaks about them and introduces them, was something new to me. The positive personal feedback I got from different participants encouraged me to be me on stage. I’m a happy person and a salesman by DNA. This is something that helps you when it comes to entertain people. In Praia I had to freestyle while the artist where fixing technical issues or simply were on their way to the stage. Just keep the attention of the huge public without getting silly or talking bullshit. In the end people want to listen to the music. In Germany we had the band to glue it all together, so my job was way easier.

The LusAfro vibe is like a mosaic composed by every participant’s energy. I try to give the public my energy and gather people’s attention before the music starts. But also make sure that people give it up for the artists who share their music and love in the name of a unique ceremony of togetherness.

July 2017 Odyssee Hagen – Photo by Cosmo / Wdr Sandra Krosa

What can a project like LusAfro do for artists?

Projects like LusAfro can definitely help artists to grow, culturally and musically. In this kind of encounters they get to know each other on different levels. They learn from each other’s experience and create hubs that often go beyond the projects limits. Time is certainly the most limiting factor in this kind of exchange and creativity is nothing you can plan.

But once you hear what artists are from different music-spheres can create and put together there is no doubt that the future of contemporary music (in our globalized world) lies in this kind of international collaborations.

Check out his work as a DJ  and one of his projects, the popular global music party Mash It Up! in Cologne, Germany.

DJ Marfox (São Tomé & Príncipe) music

DJ MARFOX (Príncipe) talks about his LusAfro experience

.„Bringing like-minded creative people together who share a positive vibe.“

DJ and producer Marlon Silva aka DJ Marfox is the figurehead of the Lisbon label Principe Discos. The son of immigrants from Sao Tomé, he grew up in Quinta do Mocho (Portugal).

Influenced by musical styles like Kuduro which came to the suburbs of the Portuguese capital with the migrants, DJ Marfox develops his own personal style somewhere between African rhythms and European sounds.

You have been part of LUSAFRO since the first encounter in Praia in April, what could you personally take back home from that experience?

LusAfro has been a great experience for me. As an artist you always have to reinvent yourself, mainly if you want to propose something different and something new. That was exactly what LusAfro did to me. I got the opportunity to develop personally, to be someone I’m not during the whole year. I could set something up together with artist like Tony Amado or Gato Preto. Regardless of the result, the project was all about to get the artists out of their habitual comfort-zones. And that’s what the LusAfro project definitely achieved.

How important was the exchange factor for yourself?

Through the project I recognized that it’s not always about ourselves, but about how we can do something together. Especially music is something that’s meant to be shared. Working with Carmen from Gato Preto was something really special as she was highly pregnant in Praia. So we had to figure out a the right tactic for her on stage at our show we set up with Tony Amado. That was something totally new to me. We had very little time to prepare for the showcase so we improvised in our hotel-rooms, also a new situation I experienced.

Generally it was very good to visit Cabo Verde and see where the Funana music comes from and how people celebrate it. Also to observe how we, let’s say: the African people living Europe – see this music and culture from our own perspective. But even more interesting was it to find out what the people of Cabo Verde think about us and our music.

It was the LusAfro project that produced this situation of exchange and encounter and I’m really happy that I was able to learn new things like e.g. where is Funana going? Where is this whole Crioul Rap – scene around artists like Helio Batalha going?

Without LusAfro I would never got to know the wonderful singer Fattú Djakité. I fell in love with her voice and I still dream of her. I would love to bring her to Lisbon. Also I had the chance to work with Dino D’Santiago. He lives in the South of Portugal and I’m in the capital, but now we established a tighter relation for the future which is good. I did’nt know DJ Buruntuma before and now we chat a lot. All this is LusAfro! Bringing like-minded creative people together who share a positive vibe.

DJ Marfox with our artistic director Francis Gay & moderator & artist manager Daniel Wahl (Cosmo / WDR) in Cologne

November 25th there will be the next LusAfro event at the Gretchen Club in Berlin. How excited are you?

For me this event will be the cherry on the cake. There is going to be a unique music mixture of the lusphone world. It’s going to be something very emotional for the LusAfro people, because it’s kind of the closing event of the project. But in fact, this is just the beginning of something new. We are all connected now and want to exchange a lot more.

For those who have not experienced a LusAfro showcase yet, that mix of people and music, it’s a great opportunity in Berlin to get involved. It’s going to be a night for the books.

**********DON´T MISS IT  „BIG UP! LusAfro – 25 NOVEMBER – GRETCHEN BERLIN********** 

check in through the Facebook Event

Get a taste of DJ Marfox amazing DJ Sets:


Fun Fun Fun – The Birth Of „Funatrap“

.LusAfro is a project that brings together international artists to network and exchange their experiences. Exciting shows in Praia, Cape Verde and Cologne, Germany were on result. The concerts always culminated with a joint performance of the song “Funatrap” that became something of a hymn for LusAfro. Watch a video of the song performed at Odyssee Festival 2017 in Mülheim this July. 

Daniel Haaksman, Berlin based DJ/Producer and artistic director of LusAfro in Praia created the song before travelling to Cape Verde in April. He told us about the creative process and about performing the iconic track with the LusAfro artists.

How was “Funatrap” created?

3 generations of Kuduro + Daniel Haaksman (from left DJ Marfox, Daniel Haaksman, Tony Amado, Kalaf Epalanga)

When doing research on current Cape Verdian music on Youtube last winter I noticed the amount of Funaná videos circulating on the internet. They were all very exciting but basically no Funaná song had any tempo changes. Knowing from my DJ sets that European audiences find it difficult to dance to a 160bpm track for more than 3 minutes I decided to produce a halftime / double-time rhythm track which starts „slow“ and with a dancehall inspired beat and then switches into Funaná with a built up aesthetic that was borrowed from trap music, in the middle it breaks down again to halftime and it really works on the dancefloor. The working title for this track was „Funatrap“, eventually the track was named „Fun Fun Fun“ and was officially released as an instrumental track in July on my label Man Recordings. When I went for Lusafro to Cabo Verde I was really happy to see the immediate, enthusiastic response by fellow Lusafro artist particpants to the track, also the audience danced manically to it. Portuguese Kuduro king DJ Marfox played „Fun Fun Fun“ all summer and liked the song so much that he also remixed it. His remix will be released early October on Man Recordings.

In your opinion what does “Funatrap” represent?

I think it embodies the cultural dialogue that we aimed to establish with Lusafro, bridging music styles from Cabo Verde with music from other parts of the world and creating something new out of it. It´s a track that can be played both in Cabo Verde as well as around the world. It´s a sonic ambassador for the Lusafro spirit.

How was the process of preparing the live performance for Odyssee?

When in Cabo Verde we recorded vocals on top, basically all particpating vocalists spat a verse or two on top of the instrumental. In the end I had so many voices that I had to do one version with Cape Verdian vocalists and one version with the „exterritorial“ vocalists like Tony Amado, Dama Do Bling, Gata Misteriosa, Mr.Santos. When we went on tour with Lusafro in Germany in July we performed „Fun Fun Fun“ at the very end of the three hour show, when all vocalists came on stage. It was amazing to experience the live performance of „Fun Fun Fun“ as the band usually joined in towards the end when I looped the final mix-out beats of the track and the vocalists and band went all freestyle. It was a proper live jam!

>>> Experience a selection of LusAfro artists in Berlin on +++25th November+++ in Club Gretchen. The popular annual club night by WDR Cosmo (former Funkhaus Europa).

DJ Marfox, suburban and ghetto legend in Lisbon, renown for his pumping kuduro productions and  also part of the LusAfro artist family made a hot remix of the track which was just released. Check it out!

credits to cosmo_wdr_krosa music

LusAfro Artist Choice Playlist #3 Dama Do Bling

. Dama Do Bling is the queen of Rap in Mozambique, one of the country´s biggest stars and named amongst the best female rappers in Africa. As if that´s not enough she is also a mother, successful fashion designer, children´s book author and marketing manager.

In the LusAfro project she is one of  the many strong female voices alongside Ceuzany, Fattú Djakité, Nissah Barbosa, Gata Misteriosa (lead vocalist of Gato Preto), Perera Elsewhere and Lucibela.

Check out this awesome performance of her feature Song with Berlin based DJ/Producer Daniel Haaksman, owner of Global Bass Label Man Recordings: 

She told us her most important influences and some of her favourite artists from her teens, twenties and from today. From Old School Rap, fine Soul and to songs from 21st century Pop Stars like P!nk and Rhianna:

„…When i was young like 14 I was listening to…“

Mc Lyte

Da Brat

Queen Latifah

Snoop Dogg

Warren G ft. Nate Dogg

„…in my 20’s I loved…“

Erikah Badu – Tyrone

Donnel Jones

Destinys Child – Say my name

Anita Baker

„…and from that time to now…“

Pink –  Try

Rihanna- Disturbia


Claudia Leitte

credits to cosmo music

LusAfro @ Odyssee – Recap of an amazing experience…

.Bringing lusophone sounds from all genres to German audiences

Last week on the 17th July the LusAfro Family met again in Cologne after their 1st encounter in Praia, Cape Verde in April.  After only 2 1/2 days of rehearsing the 16 artists from Mozambique, Germany, Guinea Bissau, Cape Verde and Portugal wrapped together show that was performed in 4 cities across Western Germanys Ruhr district from the 19th until the 22nd July. The 2 hours long performance was an insight into the amazingly wide range of musical styles and mixtures from lusophone African countries.

Line Up:

Africaine 808 (Germany)| Buruntuma (Guinea Bissau / Portugal) | Ceuzany (Cabo Verde) | Dama do Bling (Mozambique)| Daniel Haaksman (Germany) | Fattú Diakité (Guinea Bissau / Cabo Verde) | Gato Preto (Mozambique / Germany) | Helio Batalha (Cabo Verde) | Lucibela (Cabo Verde) | Rapaz 100 Juiz (Cabo Verde)

Singers of Mournas in the style of Cesária Évora met experimental beat producers, Cape Verdean rappers clashed with an acoustic backing band that then entered Jam Sessions with DJs. A creative mixing and mingling with no genre boundaries that was also appreciated by the big and content audiences of the cities of Hagen, Mühlheim an der Ruhr, Recklinghausen and Bochum.

Enough of words – the best way to feel the LusAfro vibe if you were not there for the show is to watch the video provided by Cosmo.

The video shows the final part of the concert were all artists gather to perform the Track „Funatrap“ produced by Daniel Haaksman. The Track evolved into a spontaneous jam session of the artists and an amazing party for everyone present:

Next LusAfro Event:
Big-Up! Club Night | Berlin, Germany | Sat 25 November 2017

The Roadfestival Odyssee: Musik der Metropolen is organized by Bahnhof Langendreer, Bochum, Ringlokschuppen Ruhr in Mülheim, Pelmke Hagen and the Cultural Instutute Recklinghausen in cooperation with WDR Cosmo and supported by the regional cultural policy of Nordrhein Westfalen.
More info 

The project is funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation “Kulturstftiftung des Bundes” within the program TURN which aims to encourage artistic exchanges between Germany and Africa and display African contemporary creation.


LusAfro goes „ODYSSEE: Musik der Metropolen“

.LusAfro artists play 4 shows at German roadshow festival

JULY, 2017. Following an overwhelming start in Cabo Verde, Praia in April, LusAfro continues to foster musical exchanges between lusophone Africa and Germany as a selection of artists will take part in the four-day road show „Odyssee Musik der Metropolen“.

Line – Up
Africaine 808 (Germany) | Buruntuma (Guinea Bissau / Portugal) | Ceuzany (Cabo Verde) | Dama do Bling (Mozambique)| Daniel Haaksman (Germany) | Fattú Diakité (Guinea Bissau / Cabo Verde) | Gato Preto (Mozambique / Germany) | Helio Batalha (Cabo Verde) | Lucibela (Cabo Verde) | Rapaz 100 Juiz (Cabo Verde)

The three stops of LusAfro 2017:

Workshops, roundtables and live presentations
as collaboration of Atlantic Music Expo
Praia, Cabo Verde, 06-11 April 2017

Odyssee: Musik der Metropolen
Wed 19 July 2017 – Bandshell at the public park, Hagen,Germany
Thurs 20 July 2017 – Stadtgarten am Ruhrfestspielhaus, Recklinghausen,Germany
Fri 21 July 2017 – Roundhouse Ruhr · Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany
Sat 22 July 2017 – Freilichtbühne Wattenscheid, Bochum, Germany

The Roadfestival Odyssee: Musik der Metropolen is organized by Bahnhof Langendreer, Bochum, Ringlokschuppen Ruhr in Mülheim, Pelmke Hagen and the Cultural Instutute Recklinghausen in cooperation with WDR Cosmo and supported by the regional cultural policy of Nordrhein Westfalen.
More info

Big-Up! Club Night
Berlin, Germany
Sat 25 November 2017

The project is funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation “Kulturstftiftung des Bundes” within the program TURN which aims to encourage artistic exchanges between Germany and Africa and display African contemporary creation.

A project by;

.Funded by the TURN Fund of the German Federal Cultural Foundation


Kalaf Epalanga (Angola / Portugal) music

The Soundtrack of… Kalaf Epalanga by COSMO

Discover an interesting „sonic biography“ of our LusAfro participant Kalaf Epalanga.

He talks about growing up in Angola, moving to Portugal not planing to stay, then eventually staying because of civil war in Angola. All stages of his life are commented by himself and the music that inspired him and that he loves.

Thanks Cosmo for that nice insight into the development of an interesting person & artist.

Go to Cosmos Website for the full story + the audios:


LusAfro Artist Choice Playlist #2 Dino D’Santiago

. Our brother, positive spirit and popular Cape Verdean Soul singer told us his about some of the most influential artists for his own music. The result is an obviously very soulful but also varied list with some interesting picks. Discover it yourself:

DJ Jeff Afrozilla (Angola / Portugal)

Branko (Portugal) 

Boddhi Satva (BEL)

D’Angelo (US)

Bob Marley (JAM)

Tito Paris (CV)

Bilal (US)

Salif Keita (MLI)

Bon Iver (US)

Ms Lauryn Hill (US)