Afropop Worldwide

Afro-Tech: Stories of Synths in African Music

July 6, 2017

Technology is one of the great drivers of musical change, and often one of its least understood. In this episode, we explore the synthesizer, looking closely at the history of this ubiquitous (and often debated) piece of musical technology, and investigating how and why it was first used in a variety African musics. Enabled by groundbreaking record reissues by synth pioneers like William Onyeabor (Nigeria) and Hailu Mergia (Ethiopia), disco stars like Kris Okotie, and South African superstar Brenda Fassie, we take you back to the ’70s and ’80s, listening to the birth of a distinctly African electronic sound. Produced by Sam Backer. Follow Afropop Worldwide on Facebook at, on Instagram @afropopworldwide and on Twitter @afropopww. Subscribe to the Afropop Worldwide newsletter at Distributed 7-6-2017. Originally aired in 2013. [APWW #676] neither hosts nor alters podcast files. All content © its respective owners.