Flex, yes, to the sounds of the classic track “Zombie.”
Okayafrica has premiered Fela Flex a film which aims to introduce a new audience to Afrobeat founder Fela Kuti’s music through the art of contemporary dance.
The video, shot by award-winning director Dominick Sheldon pairs Fela’s 1976 anti-military government song “Zombie” with the incredible bodily movement of Brooklyn-based dancers from the film Flex Is Kings, the 2013 documentary about the East New York street dancing style known as flexing. The piece, a production by the New York City-based ROOT Studios, co-published by Okayafrica and NOWNESS, intends to shed a modern light on the vintage Nigerian horns and drums of Afrobeat.
Okayafrica producer Allison Swank is quoted as saying, “We saw Flizzo and Jay Donn in Flex Is King and were inspired when we witnessed their live performances. With this film, we wanted to introduce new audiences to older sounds from Africa. It aims to show the positive, contemporary story of the continent.”