Daniel Dzidzonu is a Togolese trumpeter/composer with a mission to get #backtoauthenticity in African music. In particular he is at the vanguard of a new era Afrobeat movement currently spanning the globe. His compositions pay exquisite homage to heroes Hugh Masekela, Fela Kuti and Manu Dibango while injecting new themes and textures into the Afrobeat sound.
Growing up in Togo with a father who managed a brass band, young Daniel was steeped in the sounds of gospel music, traditional Akpesse bands and West African percussion performed at church services, weddings and funerals. That exposure led him to a fascination with brass instruments from a very young age and especially the trumpet. His later exposure to Africa’s musical greats through TV and radio sealed the deal on a life’s commitment to music. He has since settled in Belgium, studying jazz and other styles and launching his own global mashup of a band that is lighting up festival circuits throughout Europe.
Daniel and members of his crew were travelling in the US, sussing out opportunities and setting the groundwork for future tours and we were lucky enough to get him into the radio station for an interview. We discussed his formative years as a musician, his views on immigration, his creative process, collaborations with Oghene Kologbo and plans for the future. We also invited them all back to our recording space to film some killer segments for Jolly Papa TV which will be airing later this summer. It was a pleasure meeting Danial et al and we look forward eagerly to their next album and US tour!