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ITSOA with Dayo Ayodele

In this episode of In The Spirit of Africa, Joseph Chidiebere Emmanuel is joined by Dayo Ayodele, Co-founder of Afrosonics, a band known for creating genre-bending, eclectic music in Boise, Idaho.

Members of Afrosonics
Members of Afrosonics

For Dayo Ayodele, it started when at age 22 he migrated to study film in California. It was his first trip to the United States and without family or friends to ease the transition, he launched into his early adult life as a student. Thanks to his Grandma’s influence, he grew up playing African percussion instruments at church and was entrenched in deep cultural traditions and music, but it wasn’t until moving to Idaho years after obtaining his film degree that he brought his drumming into his life in the US. Just like back home in Nigeria, it proved to be a way to connect with people in the community and build a new beginning in Boise. The city was multi-cultural however many communities kept to themselves and Dayo begin to see the power music had to pull people together.

About the same time, Dayo was studying film in California, Todd Dunnigan made the decision to drop out of college. Music’s call was so strong there was no other choice. So he hit the road playing and touring with a variety of musical acts singing and playing keyboard. His career progressed to include starting The Audio Lab recording studio, being a side musician for a huge variety of artists, and a professional job playing piano for a Southern Baptist church. Piano players love Gospel music like guitar players love the Blues and the same was true for Todd.

The paths of these musicians merged at the right moment in time and they brought their creative forces together to deepen the styles and messages in Afrosonics’ sound. Out of the desire to bring communities together, Afrosonics creates music featuring a collective of musicians from the Middle East, Europe, Africa, South America, and the United States. At the heart of the group’s progression, the band has conscientiously integrated new American musicians (former refugees from war-torn areas of the world) into the collective that is Afrosonics. The genre twist deepens with the infusion of Idaho musicians into the collective with roots in country, rock, jazz, and opera. Every nation's voices bring many paths together in one musical destination.

Chidiebere Joseph Emmanuel, an Alumnus of the ISU Commercial Music Program. He has several years of experience as a musician and also served on the board of the Pocatello Arts Council. He is currently a Master's Student at the Jazz Studies Department of NYU. He produces and hosts his show In The Spirit Of Africa.