Rotimi & de afrophonik crew
Gig Seeker Pro

Rotimi & de afrophonik crew

Levittown, Pennsylvania, United States

Levittown, Pennsylvania, United States
Band World Jazz




"Afrobeat @ The Book space"

Friday night at the Bookspace, perhaps the D.I.Y.-est of Fishtown’s independent music venues (I’m looking at you, Johnny Brenda’s and the Fire), a crowd of about 25 curious music lovers were treated to a taste in trans-continental melodies and sounds, as Nigerian singer-songwriter Rotimi Hundeyin and De Afrophonik Rhythms Crew belted out a two-hour set of soulful pop and fizz. His stellar horn section dominated the show, seeming to overflow the dinky stage crafted from wooden shipping crates (I counted thirteen total band members onstage) and hastily draped in fabric for performance purposes. They consisted of mostly young white males who nonetheless picked up the rhythm and ran with it the whole way through, singing backup and keeping the music upbeat and flowing.

Hundeyin, recent tourmate of the famed Afrobeat artist Femi Kuti, son of the legendary Fela Kuti, has shared the stage with several world-renowned artists including South African trumpeter Hugh Masakela, R&B singer Erykah Badu, Reggae standout Damian Marley (and son of the legend Bob), and experimental rap group Gorillaz, and has worked in the studio with Danger Mouse. Perhaps all of this background experience was part of the reason why Hundeyin worked the crowd so well — or maybe it was just because he is as passionate about his music as he can be — leading us in various call-and-response chants of some of his native tongue’s phrases, like our a wa wa to his ska ska–I’m blanking on the exact translations, but they had something to do with peace and love, so it was all positive energy from there on out.

His opener, the talented female artist Yemi, joined him onstage alongside her singing partner Marie, to add some spot-on harmonies to his smooth, soulful baritone. When he wasn’t leading us in Nigerian lessons from the stage, he was playing something resembling a miniature form of a saxophone, with a bit of a Middle Eastern lilt to it.

Hundeyin told us various times throughout the show that despite being stationed in this tiny little venue that night, he and his Afrophonik crew planned on taking us on a trip, through their music, all the way to Africa, reminding us that it would be done “without leaving Philadelphia,” as if some of us were concerned about the impending airfare that would soon launch an assault our bank accounts.

Africa or Frankford Avenue, wherever the show actually was, it was a plain rocking evening. I went with the intention of deliberately exploring African music in its originality (not just listening to Vampire Weekend or Paul Simon and saying I’m satisfied) and came out satiated on the fufu of Afrobeat music and sound.

Check out a live performance of the band’s set at the Trenton International Blues and Jazz Fest last Fall - Julian Steinfield for The new philadelphia


Still working on that hot first release.



Rotimi Hundeyin is a Nigerian born musician based in philadelphia his current project showcases an original music style known as Afrophonik Rhythms. His band, called Rotimi & de afrophonik crew includes some most up-and-coming musicians. Complete with a full horn section, drummer, percussion, female vocalists, keyboards and several guitars this band has a powerful stage presence. Such collaboration with Americans has never been seen before in African music, a testament to Rotimi’s forward-thinking methods.His focus is sharp, providing a musical resolution to the political injustice he knew growing up.
A man of paradox, Rotimi questions violence with beauty. With songs like Osusu he questions the relationships mankind has with one another and suggests a higher way of life. Heavily influenced by African folk music and jazz legends like Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong, Hugh Masekela, Dizzy Gillespie, Fela Kuti, and Miles Davis, Rotimi’s music breaks the world music mold. He balances genius with simplicity, an amalgamation of soul, afro-beat, rock, hip-hop, and jazz. He is currently working on his first album with his Afrophonik Rhythms Crew.His ability to write songs of his one and manipulite multiple instruments on stage(trumpet,flugel horn,sax and keyboards)makes him concert goers delight.