Inga Bee

DJ MixMusicParisWe See You

hey bony: an afropunk dj mix

October 25, 2019
267 Picks

For the 20th installment of AFROPUNK’s DJ mix series, we decided to turn to the community. We became acquainted with Hey Bony in Paris at this year’s AFROPUNK Sound Clash competition (he won!), and his ensuing set at AFROPUNK Paris proceeded to hype the holy spirit out of everybody who was in earshot.

Hey Bony (born: Antony Bonneto) comes from Guadeloupe and plays a mix of contemporary sounds of the Francophone and Creole Caribbean — with the dembow, the dancehall and his own Caribbean pop originals thrown in for good measure. The mix is subtitled “Stay Tru,” which sounds about right, since it’s as much of a personally representative musical outlook as we’ve had the pleasure of hearing all year. That’s one thing that makes it unlike any mix we’ve received to date. So we asked Hey Bony to tell us more about himself, his sound, and about his AFROPUNK experience. His excitement was palpable.

Can you identify some of the music on the mix? What does the music mean/represent for you?

The two first songs are my own tracks, samples of my next EP. They represent a new music movement called ZWAP that my team and I are crafting to valorize the Creole culture and heritage, and to show our vision of what the future of Caribbean sound is.

How did you first get into DJing, and who are some of your DJing influences?

I first got into DJ’ing in Guadeloupe, my Caribbean island, thanks to a friend that introduced me to this art and then offered me the opportunity to play at some house parties. I was first influenced by a local DJ called DJ Greg, and then when I left my hometown to study abroad, I discovered new music styles and new DJs who tend to make bridges between various music genders as Kaytranada and the Soulection crew. These discoveries were like a rebirth for me in my music career. Then, I decided to create bridges between the Caribbean music genders (dancehall, zouk, kompa, salsa…) and music from all around the world.

You played at AFROPUNK Paris this year: tell us a little bit about that experience. How did that come about? And how did it go?

It was like magic! Thanks to Frieda, the female singer who won the AFROPUNK Battle of the Band Paris, I decided to participate to the AFROPUNK DJ Sound Clash — and I won. That was my first festival experience and I was initially supposed to play 45 minutes on the Saturday. But in the end, I played two hours each day. This experience made me realize the impact of my music on people — especially on Black people. Also, before AFROPUNK, I didn’t play my own tracks very often during my DJ sets. At AFROPUNK, I played a lot of my creations, and I saw people went crazy to them so now everywhere I go, I proudly play my tracks, even if people don’t know any of them.

What does the phrase “We See You” mean to you?

We see you is a warning to all these brands that use Black faces, Black people in their commercials. They use and over-use our image to get cooler but do not hire Black people in their headquarters, do not address Black people issues, do not take positions for Black people’s rights and equity when they are threatened. Opportunist people, “we see you” in your hypocrisy and your will to use the image of our community because it’s trendy but in reality do not have any consideration for our struggle.

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