Travel and culture

Bakosó: This is What Happens When Afrobeats hits Cuba

Bakoso Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi
The doc has reached the post-production stage and the team is funding completion of the project through an Indiegogo campaign.

The film director Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi has just presented the film Bakosó, that explores how the AfroBeats music, by way of African medical students, emerged as a new culture in Cuba.

Jacobs-Fantauzzi has been producing documentaries for years  that shine light on communities across the globe, including in Ghana, where he spent ten years traveling to make the film, “HomeGrown: HipLife in Ghana”. That film explored the first inklings of what has now become the AfroBeats explosion.

Bakosó Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi
Bakoso reveals the influence of contemporary African music in Cuba.

Bakosó: The Cuban connection to Africa

Bakoso reveals the influence of contemporary African music in Cuba as not just a thing of the past, but a phenomenon happening now. This documentary produced and directed by Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi, explores the technology, culture and landscape that forms the AfroBeats / Cuban fusion genre “bakosó”. Bakosó: AfroBeats of Cuba illuminates this burgeoning music scene.

Made in collaboration with DJ Jigüe who created Cuba’s first independent Afro-Cuban music label and arts collective called Guámpara Music, the film follows his journey back to his home of  Santiago de Cuba.

Bakosó means a vibrant fusion

He explores bakoso, which itself is beautiful proof that the exchange between Cuba and Africa did not end with the Transatlantic slave trade. Through stunning visuals and a score created by the founders of the genre, the film allows the audience entry into this vibrant  fusion.

What does “Está Rico” by Marc Anthony, Will Smith & Bad Bunny have in common with “Made For Now” by Janet Jackson & Daddy Yankee? They both used AfroBeats without giving the genre’s origin props.

Bakosó Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi
The movie explores the technology, culture and landscape that forms the AfroBeats / Cuban fusion.

Four Essential Places to Know the Afro-Cuban culture

After spending years producing films, multimedia and music projects together, DJ Jigüe and I set out to tell the story of Bakosó, which flips the script on the way AfroBeats is currently being appropriated by popular culture.

After spending years producing films, multimedia and music projects together, DJ Jigüe and I set out to tell the story of Bakosó, which flips the script on the way AfroBeats is currently being appropriated by popular culture.

AfroBeats and Cuba are both trending

AfroBeats and Cuba are both trending on a global cultural landscape. When Bakosó was featured in the digital magazine, The Outline, writer Rawiya Kameir wrote, “We are still connected, Africa isn’t a thing of the past. It’s still creating new sounds and the culture is still being infused into Cuban and other cultures today.”

Bakosó Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi
AfroBeats and Cuba are both trending on a global cultural landscape.

Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi says that “In today’s globalized world, it is important that we continue to support new narratives about music in the Caribbean and Africa, in order to shift our thinking about the world.”

The doc has reached the post-production stage and the team is funding completion of the project through an Indiegogo campaign. For supporters, the perks include a download of music selected by DJ Jigüe, including some unreleased tracks, meaning you can be a part of this unique project and rock to the sound of bakosó before it reaches beyond Cuba’s shores.

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