One to watch: the Cavemen

Estimated read time 2 min read

As pop music from west Africa continues to dominate globally, the Cavemen cut an interesting shape. Forget Afrobeats; the Nigerian duo are on a mission to bring highlife – an effervescent style that originated in 19th-century Ghana, with its distinctive lilting guitar and lively horns – to a new generation. Lagos-based brothers Kingsley Chukwudi Okorie and Benjamin Chukwudi James call their sound “highlife fusion”, and bring jazz and soul into their muscular mix. It’s a joyful brew, sung in both English and their native Igbo, and bearing messages of positivity, love and good times.

Bassist Okorie and drummer James (who is also the lead singer) started the group in 2018, after finishing their respective law and music degrees, and have since released two albums. Their synergy and virtuosity drips with superstar quality, and their star is rising fast: last year they were selected by Wizkid to support him at his stadium show in the UK, after proclaiming that he was their “biggest fan”. Not one to be left out, another Afrobeats heavyweight, Davido, enlisted the siblings on his 2023 single Na Money alongside Angélique Kidjo.

Like Kidjo, the Cavemen move across sounds and scenes, especially in Britain. After the Wizkid gig, they played jazz festival Love Supreme, south-east London community-minded all-dayer Rally and a few months later, east London’s cult live music night Church of Sound, to an audience so excited they were fanning themselves. The Cavemen are a live act that need to be seen to be believed. Luckily, they’re back on these shores plenty this year.

  • The Cavemen play the Great Escape festival, 15-18 May, Cross the Tracks, 26 May, and We Out Here, 15-18 August


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