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RAH & The Ruffcats – Agidi

As one of the most sought after and technically sublime working bands in the German live music scene, Berlin based Ruffcats are something of an institution. This eight-piece outfit made up of some of the country’s most revered session musicians, pool all of their diverse influences and come together as The Ruffcats to create a unique take on the music they love.

Since forming in 2007, and via their live jams at Bohannon Soul Club in Berlin, Ruffcats have found themselves acting as the backing band for artists such as Georgia Anne Muldrow, Sweet Charles, Lady Alma, Jaguar Wright, Miles Bonny & many more.

In the meantime, and for over a decade, Rapturous Apollo Helios, better known as RAH, has been making a name for himself as one of Berlins’ most outstanding rappers, songwriters and vocalists.Originally hailing from Lagos, Nigeria, RAH’s music has always been influenced by his environment as well as a rich history of black music from hip hop to soul and, of course, Afrobeat.

Since relocating to Berlin, RAH has made waves in the German capital with his weekly Swag Jam sessions. At these live events he has not only been able to show off his prowess as an exceptional MC and something of an improvisational genius, but also attract such luminaries as Erykah Badu and Bilal to join him on stage.

Having crowned his journey from Lagos to Berlin with the release of his debut album, How Far? in 2018, RAH began the next stage of his sonic adventure by hooking up with long-time friends, the Ruffcats band. Their first single together, the Curtis Mayfield influenced Shifting Sands, dropped the same year to huge acclaim, and it wasn’t long before both parties looked towards working on a larger project together. After a pause for the pandemic, their collaborative process really began to bear fruit, and they are now set to release their debut full length LP in July this year.

Agidi is the first single to be taken from that album, and it’s also the first song they recorded for it. The song sprung to life out of a (Fela Kuti-like) loop the band created during a jam session. They handed it over to RAH who came up with the fierce vocal line. Agidi literally means a very stubborn person and is not only a reflection on a world of stubborn politicians, but also on how we behave in similar ways in our personal lives. It’s one of the more traditional Afrobeat offerings on the album and comes complete with hypnotic guitars, psychedelic keys, powerful horns, those rasping RAH vocals and a very poignant spoken word moment to boot.

The single marks just the start of RAH and The Ruffcats burgeoning relationship, with more recordings and live shows planned, including a German club tour kicking off in November this year.

Album ‘Orile to Berlin’ – out July 12th, 2024 (LP / DL).

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RAH & The Ruffcats Orile to Berlin Vinyl