Q: When some people hear the term “Afro-Punk”, they can’t imagine the amalgamation of the two genres. I, on the other hand, don’t find the term to be far-fetched as most, if not all, music derived from African culture. Define “Afro-Punk” to those who may not be familiar.
TK: AfroPunk is the name of a documentary I was featured in some time ago. You should definitely check it out. It’s goal was to identify a subset within a subculture in the way that ‘Beyond the Screams’ brought light to the contributions of Latinos in the hardcore scene in Chicago but on a national level. The term existed before the film as a description of an aesthetic or energy. In regards to genre; song structure, arrangement and instrumentation defines musical genre not race. So I would never discuss it in those terms. Now, if someone was doing the actual work to create this genre I would expect it to be some afrobeat/grindcore amalgamation it probably exists but that isn’t what the term as a pop culture phenomenon/lifestyle brand refers to currently. The festival highlights artists out side of the stereotype of African-American interests and culture. That is the purpose of the platform as described on their site; the music is an aspect and not genre specific. I feel you hinting at the rejection of blackness where rock music is concerned and that’s real. In the early punk rock London scene there was a whole ‘tribal’ movement. It’s clear that American indigenous and African culture inspired the aesthetic though folks rarely make the connection. That parallels to the erasing of the roots of rock n roll here in the states