Nigeria’s Afrobeat crown prince meets Sudanese retro-pop queen.

Wednesday, Mar 6 @ 7:30pm – Day 1 of the festival

  • Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 / Alsarah & The Nubatones.
  • Opening and between shows DJ sets by James Locksmith.
  • Click here is see the day 2 lineup.

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Seun Kuti & Egypt 80

Nigerian, Seun Kuti is the son of Fela Kuti, the pioneer of the Afrobeat music genre. Seun’s band Egypt 80 consists of musicians from Fela Kuti’s original band, Africa 80. Seun has followed the political and social ethos of his father, and along the way added his own twist to the music, digging deep into various African traditions to reflect the continent’s struggles and cultures.

Listen to the music

“Here I’m giving honor to my parents and to every revolutionary who has made a difference, many of them from before I was born.” – Seun Kuti

Alsarah & The Nubatones

Sudanese / Brooklyn based, Alsarah & the Nubatones is the brainchild of Alsarah and Rami El Aasser. Born out of many dinner conversations about Nubian ‘songs of return’, modern migration patterns, and the cultural exchanges between Sudan and Egypt. The band includes Armenian/American oud player Haig Manoukian and French born, Togo-raised bass player Mawuena Kodjovi. The Brooklyn-based group’s sound has been dubbed ‘East – African retro-pop.’

Listen to the Music

“Her voice evokes the aura of a Sudanese queen. Her music speaks of immigration, by choice or by force, and goes from electronic to Nubian inspired 70s pop music, to North African Arabic music.” – Next Libération


Seun Kuti is the youngest son of legendary Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti. At the age of nine, Seun expressed the wish to sing to his father. A short while later Seun started performing with his father and the band, until his father’s untimely death in 1997. Seun, then only 14 years old, assumed the role as lead singer of Egypt 80. Ever since, Seun has followed the political and social ethos of his father. Along the way, he began to add his own twist to the music, digging deep into various African traditions to reflect the continent’s struggles and cultures. About three quarters of the current Egypt 80 line-up consists of musicians that not only played with Fela Kuti, but often were arrested and harassed alongside the founder of the Afrobeat movement. Seun Kuti has toured the world and released many albums.

Alsarah is a singer, songwriter, bandleader and a somewhat reluctant ethnomusicologist. Born in Khartoum, Sudan, she relocated to Yemen with her family before abruptly moving to the USA, finally feeling most at home in Brooklyn, NY where she has been residing since 2004. She is a self-proclaimed practitioner of East-African Retro-Pop music. Working on various projects, she has toured both nationally and internationally.

With her main outfit, Alsarah & the Nubatones, she has released 2 full-length albums titled Silt , followed by Manara (Wonderwheel Recordings, 2014 and 2016). She has also released 1 full-length album with French electronic producer Débruit titled Aljawal (Soundways Recordings, 2013). And she was featured on the Nile Project‘s debut CD, Aswan (named in the top 5 must hear international albums by NPR, 2014).

Always trying to connect the musical dots both her full length albums with the Nubatones saw themselves reimagined and remixed by various acclaimed electronic producers in 2015’s Silt Remixed and 2017’s Manara Remixed (both via Wonderwheel Recordings). In between albums Alsarah also works with the Sudanese artist collective Refugee Club Productions on a variety of projects including the critically acclaimed documentary “Beats of the Antonov.”

Hailing from Sydney, James Locksmith is a DJ, producer and music curator based in Dubai, who will warm up the crowd pre-show and in between live sets. . A passion for dance music, travel, and learning about diverse cultures from around the world have led James on a colourful music path. James lives between Australia, Dubai and Greece, and has been producing and programming world class, instrumental projects, and events and DJing from bars to festival stages for nearly 20 years.
James moved to Dubai in 2011 and immediately became an integral part of a new groundbreaking alternative club scene in the GCC and Middle East.
He co-founded the popular DUST parties from 2011 and in no time his reputation was on the rise and talent in demand. James started partnering with other forward thinking brands such as Beirut Groove Collective, Third Eye Crew, Analog Room, SATWA 3000, MUTEK, SOLE DXB, 264 Cru, Art Dubai, and Groove on the Grass.