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Arc Djebe – Dagbeneva

AKW022_arc_djebe

When was the last time you listened to music from Togo?! Even the biggest world music nerds seem to not be so well versed in this tiny West African nation’ s rich musical heritage. We’ve heard it all: that it has poor cultural heritage, that all of the talent is sucked up by neighboring Benin, that there simply is no infrastructure in Togo to enable artists to come up with anything half decent.

Well… all of the above are contradicted by one man: Arc Djebe. The Lomé native has been composing songs on the guitar for years now – over two decades! His talent took him from Cameroon to Côte d’Ivoire, yet to this day Arc Djebe has been doing everything himself: auto-production, self-distribution. Which means a permanent hustle, in a country where music producers are scarce to say the least. With help from friends, occasional grants and live shows, Arc Djebe managed to record 4 mini albums, including this last one. Dagbénéva means “happiness” or “quest of happiness” in Ewe, the most common language along the Togolese coast. Six potent tracks, recorded at home, in Togo, with his band Zozodede.

A nice introduction to Togo’s agbadja rhythms, on top of which Arc Djebe builds intricate songs, which display his versatility and wide ranging influences. And a perfect introduction to the sound of Togo today.

Past posts about Arc Djebe:

  • Arc Djébé – “Mandja” October 24, 2011 Late October, Pushking Noize came down to Accra to enjoy some time off in the sunshine, and record a few songs with Arc Djébé. Then in September, while he was editing the music back in Zurich, we headed over to Lomé to film Arc performing some of the songs we recorded. This is the first ...
  • Moving Crunk Out The Way: Introducing Yob – Lomé, Togo May 6, 2011 We met Yob on our last trip to Togo, almost one year ago already! We have hours and hours of footage, but finally managed to edit some of the fantastic footage, thanks in large to Tim Videomit, who met Benjamin Lebrave last fall in Paris. Check out the interview he did here (long version in ...
  • Chop Our Music – 2 year Anniversary Super Release! January 1, 2011   Hard to believe, but it was just over 2 years ago that our first release, Akwaaba wo Africa, came out worldwide. What a journey it’s been since then! 2 dozen releases spanning the gamut from Nigerian highlife to Gambian griot kora, Angolan kuduro to Benin salsa… We’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with artists from ...
  • Introducing Arc Djébé December 10, 2010 Many,. many, MANY thanks to Ryan Lash for coping with the lack of structure, the heat, the at times dubious food and the heavy sweat-inducing “small walks” across Lomé and Accra!!! And tahnks to Tim aka Videomit for piecing this video together, at last we are excited to share this glimpse into Arc Djébé’s world ...
  • Crowd Krushers – Krush on Akwaaba Mixtape just in! November 8, 2010 Heyyyo! Remember these cats? Yep, same doods we rocked Mancuso with last September in Tübingen! What a warm welcome… these cats are not only fantastic party DJs, who know how to appreciate a good African groove in their sets, they are also ideal hosts to a wonderful – yet not soooo famous – German city. ...
  • 09/09 WW: Arc Djebe ‘Dagbeneva” (Togo) September 7, 2010 When was the last time you listened to music from Togo?!?! Even the biggest world music nerds seem to not be so well versed in this tiny West African nation’s rich musical heritage. We’ve heard it all: that it has poor cultural heritage, that all of the talent is sucked up by neighboring Benin, ...

on April 3 | by