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Lungu Lungu: Introducing DJ Nigga Fox




Portugal's wildly named DJ chops up kuduro and afrohouse


Ghana-based Benjamin Lebrave speaks fluent French and English, and can schmooze in Spanish and Portuguese. He’ll report on new African music every other week. This week, he dabbles in the European scene with the Portuguese DJ Nigga Fox.

Upon returning from my second trip to Luanda in June 2012, I was a bit disappointed to discover that for the most part, kuduro and afrohouse producers don't interact. Almost every producer I spoke to clearly told me both genres are incompatibly boxed in: kuduro is set at 140 BPM, with loud vocals and aggressive beats. Afrohouse is always between 125 and 128 BPM, its vocals are soft and soothing, sometimes bold and tribal, but its beats are always much more tame than kuduro batidas.

I wrote about Tchoboly, who's sound I love because he mixes everything together into what he calls kwatsiru, his own blend of kuduro, house, semba, kwaito and other rhythms. Despite his relative success, he remains an anomaly: I haven't come across too many producers taking risks. To be fair, these days my Angolan diet is mostly fed via SoundCloud, which has become the go-to platform for afrohouse. It's possible that more creative artists are staying away from SoundCloud, perhaps out of fear of others biting their style.

Bottom line is: there's loads of afrohouse coming out of Angola, a lot of it is good, but at this point, very little of what reaches the web is truly surprising. In fact, most of it is predictable and repetitive. At least that's the conclusion my fried brain sometimes comes to when I spend too many hours fast-forwarding through hundreds of songs online.

So when I do come across a sound that surprises me… it's kind of a big deal. I turn the volume up a few notches and have my own one man party in the office. This is pretty much what happened late last year when I first discovered DJ Nigga Fox.

Download: DJ Nigga Fox, "Hwwambo"

Now this dude is not afraid of mixing genres. I'd even say he's taking kuduro and afrohouse into the future. His sound sits somewhere in between, rugged and tribal enough to get kuduro heads' attention, but his refined electronic layers will ensure a wider audience sticks around.

Nigga Fox' older brother, DJ Jio P, discovered FruityLoops in 2007, which immediately got Fox' attention. After dabbling with the program for a bit, Nigga Fox took a course in music production in 2010, after which he decided to take music more seriously. He started DJing regularly in Lisbon's Bairro Alto, and eventually shared his music with DJ Marfox, whom he already knew from high school. "He liked it and then he showed it to the Príncipe guys. Soon after that I played at a Noite Príncipe, and the rest you all know."

The rest, for those of us outside of Lisbon, is a string of beats flowing out of his SoundCloud account for months now. Nigga Fox' sound is very distinctive, surprisingly so even, given the quantity of afrohouse and kuduro pouring onto the internet these days. His debut EP is aptly named Meu Estilo—my style. It shows Nigga Fox' identity and versatility: the songs range from tarraxinha to kuduro, yet they all keep the same hard, abstract techy sound. I feel like Nigga Fox captures the spirit of Detroit techno. Don't sleep on this hyperactive beatmaker—cop the wax and follow him on SoundCloud.

Lungu Lungu: Introducing DJ Nigga Fox