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K.O.G. & The Zongo Brigade: Debut album celebrated at Yellow Arch party

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Afro-futurist favourites K.O.G. & The Zongo Brigade are celebrating the release of their first album with an all-night party at Yellow Arch Studios on 30 March.

The 17-person jazz, funk and reggae party starters will release Wahala Wahala on 8 March, preceded by incendiary lead single 'For My People'.

The ensemble are touring the UK before their Sheffield homecoming, which is a special Culture Clash featuring dub veterans Zion Train. The mighty Sinai Sound System will provide the power in the warehouse room.

"Yellow Arch gave us our debut gig on New Year's Eve 2014, which was totally amazing," said lead singer Kweku Sackey, aka K.O.G. "People jumping about and going crazy which brought us into the limelight and fuelled our aspirations."

The group have been building up a reputation as a live act for half a decade, but have only recently entered the studio to record their first album, which was recorded 'as live'.

"We wanted to bring the live pulse of our music to the album," said Sackey. "We love communication through live music and have carved a reputation for bringing fire in our sets, so it just felt right."

The album reflects on culture, love, perseverance and positivity amongst other things

The record explores the roots of the different band members, from Ghana and Jamaica to Sheffield, as well as ideas of home and belonging.

"The album reflects on culture, love, perseverance and positivity amongst other things," said Sackey. "Its songs each ask for a different emotional connection, but the general cultural expression of the album is a balance of energy pertaining to stories of our roots in Ghana and Jamaica."

Despite the size of the group, they have a democratic approach to creating their music,

"Kweku writes millions of African groves and brings it to the band who are all incredibly talented and add their bits," said Sackey. "Franz Von writes amazing rap to the song's concept, and then the song is made."

Brixton-based MC Brother Culture will also be joining the band at Yellow Arch, along with Leeds jazz outfit Nektr and DJs from La Rumba and Dub Shack.

"We are forever grateful for that early experience [in 2014] and we can't wait to bring the debut album," said Sackey.

Sam Gregory

Tickets for the Yellow Arch Culture Clash featuring K.O.G. & The Zongo Brigade and Zion Train are available through Skiddle.

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Franz Von

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