Africa Unite is an Italian band based in Pinerolo, near Turin. It’s a reggae band founded in 1981 by Madaski and Bunna. The name comes from Bob Marley’s song, a beloved artist who will always inspire them through the years.
Raggae with electronic twist
An Italian writer, Giuseppe Culicchia, described Madaski as “the perfect link between man and synthesizers”. Here are the keywords to enter the AU world: reggae and electronic. When I heard Madaski at a University lesson (yes he did it!) he said “Our music is not just reggae, as we are not in Jamaica. We live in Italy, in a different culture/environment that’s why we could never play pure reggae. We revise it according to our background and way of life”. Well, that was the point, something like 8 years ago. Gosh, I feel old.
A bit of history
Their first album was Mjiekrari, published in 1986, and the second one Llaka, came out in 1998. They started touring in Turin’s clubs, and the success arrived with the third album, People Pie, in 1991. In the beginning, the songs were in English, but with Babilonia e Poesia (Babylon and poetry) they started singing in Italian. Other albums followed (Un sole che brucia/a sun that burns, In diretta dal sole/live from the Sun, Il Gioco/the game, Vibra/vibrate, a Bob Marley tribute, Mentre fuori piove/while outside rains, Un’altra ora/another hour).
Madaski also made a solo album, Dance or Die, and has a parallel project called n.a.m.b. (I love their black hole sun version).
Why I love them (and you should too)
One of my favorite songs is from Vibra, and the title in English is Under Pressure. The sentence that seems to perfectly describe our (well mine for sure!) life says: I’m not looking for tensions, I have nothing more to lose, all I know is that under pressure I give my best and I feel better.
Last year they published Controlli/controls.
In their songs, you can find politics, love, relationships, pictures of their travels, a description of my Turin, and a heavy criticism of the world we are living in. If you do not know Italian just seat and listen to the velvety voice of Bunna. Experience my Africa.