New York, NY (Top40 Charts/ Shore Fire Media)
On August 7, Daptone will release Antibalas' first album in five years. Here's some things you might not know about the group's lead singer and percussionist, Amayo.
*Born in Lagos, Nigeria. First saw Fela Kuti perform at the legendary Shrine club in his hometown at the age of 12. "You earned your stripes if you went there. It was like being in heaven," he says.
*Inspired to move to the US after seeing the Wattstax and Car Wash films in Nigeria. He later met some of the Wattstax performers at a Nigerian music festival.
*Came to the United States on a college athletic scholarship, and tried out to be a kicker for the Washington Redskins.
*Is a senior Kung Fu master, National Dance Institute
instructor, and has trained for, and performed the role of the Lion Head in traditional Chinese Lion Dance, one of China's most celebrated traditions.
*Ran an appointment-only clothing store in Williamsburg and organized fashion shows that featured drum ensembles through which he met Antibalas founder Martin
Perna and Daptone founder Gabriel Roth.
*Has performed everywhere from Riker's Island Prison to Carnegie Hall with Antibalas.
Watch a recent Afropop Worldwide video segment featuring performance footage and interview with founder Martin