Amen Viana releases new album called “Afrocanalyst”
Amen Viana is a multi-talented musician who excels in playing guitar, singing, composing, and arranging, all while drawing inspiration from the traditions of African music.
He rose rapidly to prominence in the West African music industry before making the perilous journey over the Mediterranean to France. His guitar playing is reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix’s, and his rock intensity is reminiscent of Living Colour’s; as a result, he immediately became a sought-after performer at international events, where he shared the stage with the likes of the Black-Eyed Peas, Angélique Kidjo, Indila, Cheick Tidiane Seck, and Tony Allen.
Amen Viana has performed in a broad variety of settings, including those in Japan with King Mensah, at the Montreal Jazz Festival with Lisa Simone, in the heart of the Sahara at the Taragalte Festival with Aziz Sahmaoui and the University of Gnawa, and many more.
Amen Viana has created and released five albums, in addition to the hundreds of albums on which he has cooperated with other artists: Gamessou (2007), Togo to Go (2010), Funkabelik (2012), Pearls and Gold (2012), and Electric Togoland. (2017).
Electric Togoland is an album that has African and European musicians using musical alchemy to turn traditional Togolese tunes into an electric fusion rock sound. Inspired by Ry Cooder’s Buena Vista Social Club, Amen Viana pays musical tribute to Togo.
The release of The Afrocanalyst represents a turning point in the musician’s career. It features Keziah Jones and Akua Naru, among others, and was recorded throughout his musical travels to match with a personal perspective on those trips.
What we call a “Afrocanalyst” is something originally from Africa (or elsewhere) that can get over the pain of being uprooted from its home without a clear plan for the future. It differentiates itself from a victimhood that, while pervasive, has grown sterile in the face of a muddled and deteriorating geopolitical system.
Its leitmotiv (it is the case to say so) is to make its challenges a strength and to offer a less dramatic meaning back to a large-scale, yet one-way globalization. Bob Marley said, “You don’t know how strong you are until being strong is the only option.” He quotes this to emphasize his point.
It is the fight of an aware generation that will not back down. For each element that has followed the same path, “The Afrocanalyst” or “afrocanalization” is fundamentally a mental state.
Stream full Album below.