EMEFE has only one intention: to play music that frees everybody in the audience, everybody listening at home, and everybody in the band. The band was created by drummer Miles Arntzen in 2009 to explore and share the afrobeat music pioneered in the 1970’s and 80’s by Fela Anikulapo Kuti and carried on today by Antibalas. In the same way that Fela used afrobeat music as a confrontation against corrupt politics, EMEFE uses its music to fight the inner authorities that we put on ourselves, each for our own specific reasons. EMEFE draws heavy influence from the funk music of Sly Stone, James Brown and Earth Wind and Fire, as well as hip hop and neo-soul influences. Mixed with a rock and roll edge, the powerful and exciting EMEFE sound never fails to get audiences jumping. EMEFE hopes to spread awareness of the healing power of music, dancing and smiling, which explains their reputation as one of the most exciting and engaging live bands in New York. EMEFE consists of a drummer, a bassist, 2 guitarists, a keyboardist, two percussionists, and a 4-piece horn section.
Members of EMEFE have played with and studied with artists such as Antibalas, Sharon Jones & the Dapkings, Soulive, Charles Bradley, Menahan Street Band, TV on the Radio, Tower of Power, Medeski Martin and Wood, and many more. EMEFE – it’s the way!