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Film still from Bakosó: Afrobeats of Cuba by Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi on AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange (image credit Ained Martinez Cala)
*What does “Está Rico,” by Marc Anthony, Will Smith and Bad Bunny have in common with “Made For Now,” from Janet Jackson and Daddy Yankee? Both songs used Afrobeats without truly giving the genre its credit.
Directed and produced by Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi, Bakosó: Afrobeats of Cuba seeks to explore the growing influence of the modern sounds emerging from Africa as it introduces audiences to “bakosó,” a new musical genre from Cuba that is rooted in Afro-Cuban music as well as contemporary sounds from the African continent including Nigeria’s Afrobeats and Angola’s kuduro music.
Following music producer DJ Jigüe to his hometown of Santiago de Cuba, the film explores the origins and rise of “bakosó” through interviews with artists including El Inka, Maikel El Padrino, Kamerum, Candyman, and more.
A showcase of the enduring ties between the Caribbean and Africa, Bakosó: Afrobeats of Cuba also gives light to the fact that the connections between Cuba and the African continent did not end with the Trans-Atlantic slave trade as new generations continue to build new bridges of cultural exchange via music, dance and more.
Using stunning visuals and a pulsating score created by the founders of the bakosó genre, the documentary showcases the technology, culture and landscape that shape this African-Caribbean fusion.
Bakosó: Afrobeats of Cuba airs on AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange starting Monday, May 3, at 8 p.m. ET on WORLD Channel and starts streaming at worldchannel.org at the same time.
AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange is presented by Black Public Media and WORLD Channel.