Yusupha Ngum and the Affia Band

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Yusupha Ngum and the Affia Band
Yusupha Ngum and the Affia Band Healesville Music Festival 17 Nov 2018.png
Background information
OriginMelbourne, Australia
Genres
Years active
  • 2016 (2016)–present
Associated acts
Members
  • Yusupha Ngum
  • Felix Billington Kleinman
  • Paul Cornelius
  • Rodolfo Hechavarria Despaigne
  • Matt Steele
  • Hiroki Finn Hoshino
Past members
  • Daniel Mougerman
  • Stephen John Khlentzos
  • Solomon Sisay
  • Adam Halliwell

Yusupha Ngum and the Affia Band is a band based in Melbourne, Australia, which was founded in 2016 by Gambian singer-songwriter, Yusupha Ngum.

Their song Gaïndé, which was written to celebrate the Senegal team's qualification in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, received significant public and media attention in Senegal and Gambia[1][2][3][4][5][6][7] as well as in the Australian media.[8]

The band has also been noted for their popular festival performances.[9][10][11]

Career[edit]

The Affia Band was formed in 2016 as a five-person band, with the initial line-up of Yusupha Ngum on lead vocals, Hiroki Finn Hoshino on double bass and bass guitar, Felix Billington Kleinman on drums, Stephen John Khlentzos on keyboards, and Adam Halliwell on electric guitar. Adam Halliwell left later that year, and was replaced by Solomon Sisay on saxophone.[12] Sometimes guest musician Chris Maunders would join the band on stage on harmonica during live performances.

In 2017, Solomon Sisay left and Paul Cornelius joined as the band's saxophonist. Also in 2017, Rodolfo "Panga" Hechavarria Despaigne joined as a sixth band member on congas. Stephen John Khlentzos later left the band to move overseas, and Daniel Mougerman joined the band on keyboards.[13]

2017 was also the year that the band started to gain significant public attention. After their performance at the Healesville Music Festival, a newspaper reporter asked Festival chair Bob Willis to name some bands with "stand out performances". Yusupha Ngum and the Affia Band was one of the three bands Willis named as ones "that really pulled the crowds".[9]

In 2018, the band recorded their original song Gaïndé to celebrate the Senegal team's qualification in the 2018 FIFA World Cup.[8] The title of the song means "The Lion" in the West African Wolof language.[8] In addition to the regular band members, guest musicians Luke Koszański joined them on electric guitar, and Boubacar Gaye performed on djembe to record the single and music video.[14] The single was mixed by Niko Schäuble of Pughouse Studios,[14] and the music video was filmed and directed by Jeff Valledor of Jeffrowz Video Production.[14] The single and music video were executive produced by Melbourne music venue entrepreneur Ousmane Ngom.[14] The song received significant public and media attention in Gambia and Senegal,[1][2][3][4][5][6][7] and was also covered in the Australian media.[8]

Later in 2018, Daniel Mougerman left and joined funk band The Bamboos,[15] and Matt Steele subsequently joined the Affia Band on keyboards.[16]

In 2019 at the Castlemaine Jazz Festival, the band line-up consisted of Yusupha Ngum, Hiroki Finn Hoshino, Paul Cornelius, Matt Steele, Felix Billington Kleinman, and Rodolfo "Panga" Hechavarria Despaigne.[16] Angus Radley filled in for Hiroki Finn Hoshino for one of the festival performances, on bass guitar.

The Midland Express newspaper highlighted the band in their reporting on the upcoming 2019 Castlemaine Jazz Festival.[10] A magazine article after the festival reported Yusupha's comments on how "he is passionate about the unifying and cultural storytelling power of music", and how he "paid a moving tribute to African youth and the problems they are facing, dedicating his song to their plight".[11]

In their live performances, guest musician Luke Koszański has sometimes joined the band on stage on electric guitar, and Huich Goh sometimes on violin.

Personnel[edit]

Current members[edit]

  • Yusupha Ngum – vocals
  • Felix Billington Kleinman – drum kit
  • Paul Cornelius – saxophone
  • Rodolfo "Panga" Hechavarria Despaigne – congas
  • Matt Steele – keyboards
  • Hiroki Finn Hoshino – bass guitar, double bass

Former members[edit]

  • Daniel Mougerman – keyboards
  • Stephen John Khlentzos – keyboards
  • Solomon Sisay – saxophone
  • Adam Halliwell – electric guitar

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Yusupha Ngum Composes Song For Senegal’s World Cup Team", JollofNews (archived), June 19, 2018. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Yusupha Ngum Composes Song For Senegal’s World Cup Team", The World News, June 20, 2018. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "« Gainde » : Yusupha Ngum, fils de Moussa Ngom, chante les Lions", SeneNews, June 20, 2018. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
  4. ^ a b "« Gainde » : Yusupha Ngum, fils de Moussa Ngom, chante les Lions", Sen360.sn, June 20, 2018. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
  5. ^ a b "« Gainde » : Yusupha Ngum, fils de Moussa Ngom, chante les Lions", SeneTribune (archived), June 20, 2018. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
  6. ^ a b "« Gainde » : Yusupha Ngum, fils de Moussa Ngom, chante les Lions", Africa News Hub, June 20, 2018. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
  7. ^ a b "Yusupha Ngum »Gainde»", Xalima.com, June 21, 2018. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
  8. ^ a b c d "Melbourne Band composes anthem for Senegal in the World Cup", Salt : African-Australian news magazine, June 20, 2018. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
  9. ^ a b "Hills music magnet", Mountain Views Mail, November 13, 2017. Also at [1] (page 1). Retrieved December 9, 2019.
  10. ^ a b "Tempo builds for jazz fest", Midland Express, May 14, 2019. Retrieved December 9, 2019.
  11. ^ a b "Castlemaine Jazz Festival, Queens Birthday Weekend, June 8-10 2019", CultureMad Lifestyle Magazine, June 29, 2019. Retrieved December 9, 2019.
  12. ^ "Yusupha Ngum and Afia Band, December 27, 2016", Open Studio (archived website). Retrieved December 9, 2019.
  13. ^ "AFFIA BAND Fathers' Day Celebrations at Bar Oussou, September 3, 2017", Facebook event page. Retrieved December 9, 2019.
  14. ^ a b c d "YUSUPHA NGUM GAÏNDÉ" (end credits), YouTube, June 7, 2018. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
  15. ^ "THE BAMBOOS release cover of LONDON GRAMMAR classic 'Strong' ahead of album of orchestral versions and Melbourne Live Launch", Amnplify (website). Retrieved December 9, 2019.
  16. ^ a b "Yusupha Ngum and the Affia Band", Castlemaine Jazz Festival (website). Retrieved December 9, 2019.