Jewels & Gems
Afrofreque includes Tigre Liu, Claude9, DJ Resinthol, John Siebenthaler, Fumi Sugawara and Mike Hale. Described as live soulful hip-hop, with elements of electronica, afrobeat and reggae, Afrofreque's lyrics are positive and conscious, reflecting hip-hop culture and social issues. Afrofreque is known not only for their for their tightly arranged hip hop and soul compositions, but also for their high energy live performances and and ultra funky live improvs. Claude 9 explains the group's experience, "The elements to create the Afrofreque sound came about in a really organic way from the combination of musical backgrounds. Tigre Liu and DJ Resinthol had worked together for a long time and brought the strong hip hop element to the group. Michael Hale and Claude 9 had worked together in various group including the modern reggae band Raggamassive, and they had both been working musicians since the late 70s. So they brought in elements of funk, reggae, and jazz to the mix. I'd been working as a producer in electonic downtempo and house music so that brought an electronic tinge as well. Fumi Sugawara and John Siebenthaler had strong jazz and funk backgrounds as well as a hip hop sensibility. We thought that since all this African-derived music, like funk, jazz, reggae, etc., had been used as elements in hip hop since it's beginning, that it was pretty natural for us to incorporate those same elements in a live band hip hop format."