Image Credits: Newen Afrobeat © Juane Morales.
It started in late 2009, with Nicolas Urbina as composer and lead singer. He started gathering people, many have passed through the band until it became the solid orchestra you can see today. The band is formed by: Marcelo Morales on tenor sax, Klaus Brantmayer on alto sax, Aldo Gomez on baritone sax, Fernando Carvacho and Mauricio Sanchez on trumpet, Tomas Pavez on afro percussions, Galita Ramirez on congas, Roberto Gevert on drums, Sebastian Crooker on guitar, Martin Smith on guitar (in this tour only), Alvaro Quintas on electric bass, Francisca Riquelme on lead vocals, Francisca Castro and Macarena Rozic on choirs & shekere.
Nobody was doing afrobeat in Chile, so it became something different to do, but also to have music with a message. Newen is a Madpudungun word (indigenous language from Chile's Mapuches), which means strength, and also the spirit within all things.
In first instance Nicolás came up with songs and arrangements, then we processed them through rehearsals and, nowadays, it has become something more collective among the band members’ ideas.
We intend to release new original tracks in 2018 (we've released an EP tribute to Fela this year), we are currently doing some new songs live.
It was the best experience! We felt it had a good reception, and could also make more links with the Kuti family, Fela's musicians and visit the land where it all began.
Yes! Afro influence is all around the world, we are putting this puzzle together as we mix afrobeat and altiplanic sounds, latin and more…