EGOSEX AND THEIR TRANCE JUNGLE BLUES: AFROFUTURISM? AFROPRESENT!

“We make visual music”, they tell us. “We like to compose music that can be seen”. The fashion designer and singer Wekaforé Jibril joined forces with musicians Hugo Bonet and Lluís Campos (who also take part in Nus, a group halfway between post-rock and rather experimental music), to create Egosex, a project that draws influence from Afrofuturism mixed in a cocktail shaker of their own sounds that not only includes afrobeat, but a fusion between R&B, house, funk and trance that they call Afropresent. Ultimately, in their own words, “we’re trying to send this message in another language, with a new formula”. A modern-day one. And clearly, they’ve been doing it very successfully.

How did you meet each other?

Us both, we mean Hugo and Lluís, we’re childhood friends. We’ve been making music together in different projects for more than 10 years. In Egosex we’re in charge of the arrangement, at an instrumental level, and the musical production. We’re also involved in the management and organisation of the band.

So, Wekaforé, how did you meet Hugo and Lluís and how did Egosex start?

I met them both during one drunken night where I ended up at a private showcase of their other band Nus. I was blown away by the quality of experimental sounds, and after that night I got in contact with Hugo and tried to convince him to join me on this Egosex journey, and Lluís joined shortly after that.

And what about your band name, how did you come up with it? And what does the name Egosex mean to each of you?

Wekaforé: The idea comes from being one with your ego, finding almost sexual pleasure in interacting with your inner-animal. I came up with the name about two years ago, during a point in my life where I was trying to define my relationships with women, and since then the word has evolved from being a personal indictment to rather an existential necessity.
Lluís y Hugo: For us, Egosex refers to the consciousness of our own ego and our own sexuality. Recognising our ego in relation to oneself and in relation to other people makes us become more consistent with ourselves. In Egosex the three of us have our own egos, the three of us have lived very distinct experiences and we have very different imageries, musically and artistically speaking. We understand them, we share them, we respect them and we boost each one of our egos to create a unique, original and honest project.

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Wekaforé, you’re surely very busy already with your fashion brand, what made you turn to music? You’re heavily involved in two very complex and successful creative projects, don’t you ever feel like your head’s constantly spinning?

Wekaforé: Yes, my head is constantly spinning and I am always exhausted, I also have the Voodoo Club every month which is a lot of work. I honestly don’t know how I find the energy or inspiration to handle everything, but I’m happy to have people like Hugo and Lluís around me who understand the mission and are just as passionate as I am; without my community, nothing would’ve been possible.

I’ve read that you like to define your music as Trance Jungle Blues, and you say that it’s a mix of primitive and futuristic sounds that explore social and politically charged subjects, would you also say that you’re part of the ever-present Afrofuturism movement?

Yes, we are definitely a hybrid or re-incarnation of all of our inspirations from Afrofuturism, we are sending the same message in a different language, with a new formula. For example, Wekaforé is into blues and afrobeat, but he’s also into electronic dance music, all in one. We would like to call it the Afropresent because we are here now and these ideas are becoming reality.

You have two singles out on Spotify, the sultry Chameleon and the more upbeat Fever (Last night in Paris) but, what are you currently working on? Are you mostly focused on playing gigs right now to get your sound out there, as well as getting to see how people experience your music?

We are currently working on a sci-fi musical series titled Spirit Man & The Machines that we will launch on a video streaming platform, and we will be announcing that with a trailer soon. We are not in a hurry to release new music, we have a catalogue of great sounds that the world will see in due time. As for now, we want to water the soil with the glimpses of the Egosex/Wekafore universe until we feel they are ready for everything. We’ve been booked now for a few festivals just with these two songs, so things are looking good.

On your social media you’ve been teasing a video called Big Fish, is this the next big single? You’ve also mentioned that this song gets in touch with your African ego, what do you exactly mean by that?

Yes! Big fish coming next! The song is basically a narration of European Anthropology in Africa from the perspective of the ‘primitive’ African.

Although so far you haven’t come out with any music videos, your aesthetic seems very clear and defined through the artwork of your covers, one of them was even designed by the talented digital artist Andrei Warren, and through the look and feel of your shows. It is this seductive, smooth, futuristic African vibe that reflects your sound, are the visuals just as important as the musical proposal to you?

Most definitely. We make very visual music: we like to compose music that you can see. From the covers to the short clips on our Instagram page, this ‘primitive-futuristic negro romantic’ visuals are almost as important as the music itself. We will be able to explain this deeper in our musical Spirit Man & The Machines when it is out.

Surely, as you have a fashion designer in the band, you clearly pay a lot of attention to your clothes. So what item can make or break an outfit to you?

Shoes definitely. Your choice of footwear in different contexts says a lot about you. For example, wearing brand new shoes, ones that are trendy or if the heels are too high… All of this can say a lot about you. In the concerts, for example, Wekaforé usually performs barefoot because he wants to send a message of honesty and vulnerability.

Other than playing in summer music festivals like Vida -by the way, congrats!- what else can we expect from Egosex in 2019?

Thank you, we are very excited for the Summer. Just expect more music, more intimate performances, and more trans-media activations with the Wekafore brand.

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