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Eli Fola brings his lively blend of Afro-house, techno & jazz to Asia

The Yoruba Tech Soul pioneer comes to captivate audiences with his saxophone skills & vibrant sets starting December 15

  • Amira Waworuntu
  • 12 December 2023
Eli Fola brings his lively blend of Afro-house, techno & jazz to Asia

Nigerian-American multidisciplinary sound artist and all-round music maestro Eli Fola lands in Asia for a four-week tour.

For those not yet too familiar with the name, it’s worth noting that Eli Fola stands at the forefront of musical innovation as the creator and pioneer of the live-hybrid set, Yoruba Tech Soul — a groundbreaking fusion that transcends genres, seamlessly blending Afro-house, techno, jazz, and classical music.

Renowned for his virtuosity on the saxophone, Eli seamlessly fuses traditional Nigerian genres into his sonic repertoire, establishing a distinctive style marked by a vibrant blend of artistry and cultural resonance.

Influenced by Osunlade and Jeff Mills, his early exposure to house and techno, combined with the profound impact of Fela Kuti during his formative years, forms the roots of his unique sound.

Eli's trailblazing style has garnered attention from industry giants, including Grammy-winning powerhouses Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys, who not only invited him to perform at their No Commission event during Art Basel in Miami but also for a private event at their home.

Solidifying his presence in the international electronic music scene, Eli's global reach expanded as he performed alongside renowned artists like Black Coffee, Damian Lazarus, Pablo Fierro, Themba, and Bonobo.

It can be said that 2023 was a breakout year for the musician — he scored a Burning Man debut at the festival’s Robot Heart and Maxa Art Car stages, where His Maxa set was not only a highlight of the event but was also selected and released on Maxa's official SoundCloud. He also captivated audiences at the CityFoX Halloween Festival at Brooklyn Mirage in New York.

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Beyond live performances, his role as a film score composer has led to collaborations with prestigious brands such as Vogue Italia, Free The Works, Soho House, Bacardi, ArtNews, and ArtBasel, showcasing his versatility in the realm of music and visual arts.

In 2016, Eli Fola furthered his creative vision by founding Tech Afrique, an independent label, events, and cultural platform rooted in Afrofuturist ideas that aims to showcase emerging DJs and producers globally.

Read this next: Audio Asia: Warm Afro-house delights await in Scott Pullen’s ‘One Heart, One Body, One Mind’ EP

With a keen focus on elevating the historically underrepresented BIPOC community, Tech Afrique has curated a series of EPs and events across New York City and Tulum, Mexico.

Through every one of his sonic creations and initiatives, Eli Fola's multicultural artistry shines through, creating a dynamic space that celebrates diversity and pushes the boundaries of electronic music culture.

A must-watch act, catch Eli Fola as he drops by Indonesia and India this month; dates below.

Amira Waworuntu is Mixmag Asia’s Managing Editor, follow her on Instagram.

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