Meet Atomga, a homegrown outfit specializing in traditional Nigerian Afrobeat and funk

Categories: Tip Sheet

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Show up early tonight for Atomga and be prepared to groove.

Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 bring their white hot melodies, thunderous vocal stylings and high vibration rhythms to the Boulder Theater tonight. But while Seun, the son of legendary Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, and his band are clearly the main draw this evening, you won't want to miss the opener, Atomga, a local act totally worth catching. Comprising almost a dozen artists who came together to cultivate the traditional Nigerian Afrobeat sound, Atomga specializes in positive vibes, authentic Nigerian Afrobeat and funk/soul sounds ideal for dancing your ass off. Show up early tonight and be prepared to groove.

The monstrous wall of sound Atomga boasts is made up of a four piece horn section, robust percussion, guitar sounds and all the other essential ingredients for producing a deep groove, with Devan Blake Jones providing silky and soulful vocals, often singing in traditional Nigerian language.

"Playing for Seun Kuti tonight is going to be a huge deal for the band because we started off as a Fela Kuti tribute band," says Jones. "It started with a lot of people coming together to figure out what this music is about. Us playing the show tonight proves that we've come such a long way, as far as the music goes and understanding what it really means, and learning how to take everything out of the way, while focusing on the music.

"Afrobeat operates a certain way," he adds. "We've learned how to incorporate what the flow of the song should feel like, into the traditional elements. When we are writing originals and things like that, it flows smoother. These are five or six minute songs, so you have to have some kind of formula in order to make it work. Everyone in the band is all about love and happiness. We have eleven people who share that same feeling. The music kind of makes itself."



Follow Backbeat on Twitter: @westword_music

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