a quick glance at afropunk brooklyn battle of the bands through the years

July 19, 2017
By Awa Gueye, AFROPUNK contributor

In light of this year’s AFROPUNK theme, We the People, I’ve been reflecting on AFROPUNK’s roots. A movement that began as a response to the lack of space available for the other black experience, AFROPUNK prides itself on its relentless effort to remain accessible to the ones it’s created for. Before there was most of what you see today, one of AFROPUNK’s greatest achievements was (and still is) its Battle of the Bands program. The Battle of the Bands program offers talented, hardworking acts an opportunity to fight for the chance to take the AFROPUNK stage. In the process these acts get the chance to perform to a crowd they may otherwise not have been able to. One of AFROPUNK’s greatest joys is sharing its platform with the community in an effort to help showcase the immense talent of Afrocentric musicians. Battle of the Bands is as important and serious to AFROPUNK as it is to the bands who participate. Check out some past AFROPUNK Brooklyn Battle of the Bands winners…

Battle of the Bands, Where are They Now?

Tank and the Bangas: Since winning AFROPUNK Battle of the bands 2016, New Orleans based band Tank and the Bangas have soared. They beat out 6,000 competitors and won the NPR Tiny Desk Concert Series. Their performance at the NPR offices garnered upwards of a million views. This has been a very busy year for the band with performances at Sumerstage NYC 2017, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage fest, Pickathon 2017, High Sierra Music Festival and more!

Tank and the Bangas AFROPUNK Brooklyn Battle of the Bands 2016.  

Oshun: After winning Battle of the Bands and taking the AFROPUNK Brooklyn stage, we couldn’t be happier to have Oshun at AFROPUNK presents Carnival of Consciousness 2017 Atlanta Edition. This year the band put out a new single via Fader titled “Not My President”. The recent NYU graduates also performed at the NYU SXSW showcase.  

Oshun at Brooklyn Battle of the Bands 2015

Unlocking the Truth: On top of playing AFROPUNK Brooklyn, in 2014, Unlocking the Truth played SXSW and were the youngest to play the Vans Warped Tour. That same year they were the youngest group to perform at Coachella. This young band has supported Guns N’ Roses, Motorhead, Queens of the Stone Age, Living Colour and Marilyn Manson. We can’t wait to see them take the AFROPUNK Brooklyn 2017 stage!  

Unlocking the Truth at Battle of the Bands Brooklyn 2014

The Skins: We’re so excited to welcome The Skins back to the AFROPUNK Brooklyn stage this year. Since participating in our Battle of the Bands Brooklyn program in 2012, The Skins have performed at SXSW, House of Blues, The Fillmore, and played a concert for Billboard. They joined DNCE on tour as “special guests” and recently released a new track entitled “RUNAWAY” on The Fader.  

The Skins performing at AFROPUNK Brooklyn Battle of the Bands 2012

These are just few of many great stories that have come as a result of AFROPUNK’s Battle of the Bands program. This tradition that is dear to AFROPUNK and our community lives on today. Next week AFROPUNK Brooklyn Battle of the Bands top 16 battle it out to see who will take the AFROPUNK Brooklyn 2017 stage. We hope to see you there where we can witness legends in the making. Check out our schedule:

July 26

Ethan Piper and The Instigation, MirandaRae, That Boy Miles, Sto The Last Lyricist

July 27

Amalia Watty, Tang Sauce, Bangarangtampa, Duendita

July 28

Tamika and the Slay, D-Andra, Courtnee Roze, Olu Bliss

July 29

Qaasim & The Juggernaut War Party, Shacar, Sheila, Anilimars