Interview: Afurakan on Tongue Fu

Screen Shot 2014-02-20 at 7.45.00 AMIn May 2013, Afurakan performed a completely improvised set with a band he had never met. The band members had also only met on the day of their performance.

What is Tongue Fu and when did you first come across the format?
Tongue Fu is an exciting spoken word and live music format where poets are challenged to improvise a performance set with a band that they have never worked or rehearsed with before. What also makes it interesting is that the band itself has never worked together before thus adding a level of unpredictability to both the music and the spoken word performances.

I first came across the event in London in 2013 during a work related visit and also got an opportunity to perform at the event.

What made you decide to follow the format for your showcase last year?
I like the energy and the unpredictability of the format. As a poet you are forced to think on your feet and work hand in hand with the band. You also have to be able to work with any kind of music and have versatile poem up your sleeve.

Did you enjoy your showcase? What was the most difficult thing about it?
I really enjoyed my showcase and the most difficult thing was keeping up with the band. Even though it’s your responsibility to direct the band, the music tends to develop a life of its own and you have to mould your performance to match the music.

Tell us about the March 1 gig. How did it come about and what can artists expect?
So after experiencing Tongue Fu in London I was determined to bring the format to South Africa and see if it could inspire us to think broader when it comes to live literature. After months of talks and in partnership with British Council Connect ZA we were able to secure Chris Redmond and Arthur Lea. Saturday promises to be an unforgettable experience as seasoned poets and musicians are thrown on one stage and asked to create magic. I can’t wait.

A little birdie told us about Afurakan and the Elastic Band. What is that about and if you could build a dream Elastic Band, which musicians would you feature (local and international)?
The Elastic Band is a concept I developed where the band is never the same size or people and nothing is ever rehearsed. The aim is to drive improvisation and the beauty of creating art real time. So the band can range from 1 instrumentalist to an a full orchestra depending on the event or occasion.

I am still building my dream Elastic Band so check on me a few months from now. LOL!

WnS-1-March---Tongue-FuGo to the Facebook event page to RSVP

2 thoughts on “Interview: Afurakan on Tongue Fu

  1. awesome;) i also attended tongue fu events at rich mix in london and im thrilled its now come here!


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