The walls were so thin at their old place that Afrobeta could hear the parade of hookers marching in and out of their neighbor’s apartment. Luckily, the Miami natives invited us to their new home/studio for this interview.
Their friend AholSniffsGlue’s ubiquitous artwork covers a wall next to the new and improved Afrobeta palace. Smurphio and Cuci Amador, the two members of Afrobeta, have a little garden in their backyard where they grow their own produce. Cuci went vegan last May. Smurphio is “approximately 87 percent vegan but 100 percent the neighborhood’s
Also in their backyard, guarded by their nine-pound dog, Suki, is the Afrobeta studio where they write, record, practice, and just recently mastered Telekinetic Walrus’ new album. There are enough instruments to arm an orchestra: a baker’s dozen of keyboards and a six-pack of guitars sit patiently waiting to be played. The UltraNova synthesizer was a 2010 Christmas present from Cuci to
Before Afrobeta, Smurphio played these instruments when he was backing Suénalo and Pitbull. Afrobeta brilliantly remixed Fleetwood Mac’s “Everywhere” here, and the duo recorded quality originals for their upcoming indie electro album, Dream About You, in the studio. The two also did interesting remixes of Family Guy and Looney Tunes theme music here. You can give those tracks a
Needless to say, Afrobeta marches to the beat of its own drum. The group is even distributing its newest album in a wonderfully creative way. “Our new album is a USB bracelet," says Smurphio. "It’s fashionable, and fans can wear it, and it’s rewritable, so after they download our music, they can put whatever they want on there and just wear it around town. CDs are dead."
On Thursday night at Libertine, Afrobeta will celebrate its latest video and single, “Dream About You.” The song is part R&B and part electro, sexy and smooth. This will be the pair's fourth video, and it was shot in their neighborhood and at Railroad Blues. The video stars their current neighbor and friend, a 91-year-old gal from across the street (not the one with the hooker parade), who plays a future version of Cuci.
In the studio, Cuci and Smurphio offered an impromptu preview of their upcoming remix of the Beatles classic “Because.” Cuci has a beautiful voice, and Smurphio is one with the keys, obviously an extremely creative musician and producer. He couldn't resist paying a quick tribute to one of his idols, Eddie Van Halen, with a spot-on slice of “Jump."
It’s easy to put a lot of bands in a box and give them a label, but it's not easy to do that with Afrobeta, and they’re aware, "Our fans can range from an 8-year-old girl to a 65-year-old man," Cuci says.
They're one of Miami's most interesting acts, partially because fans never know what to expect from them next. Sometimes, Afrobeta doesn't even know.
“We were more dance-music-sounding six years ago. We’re more indie electro now. We’re more downtempo. Our new single, 'Dream About You,' is more chill. We’re songwriters first, and we love to write and play for our friends on acoustics,"
Afrobeta. Doors open at 10 p.m. Show starts at 1 a.m. Thursday, August 6, at Libertine, 40 NE 11th St, Miami; 305-363-2120; libertinemiami.com. Admission is free. Ages 21 and up.