Antibalas Announces Vocalist Duke Amayo’s Departure

The post-Amayo era begins next week with shows at the original Brooklyn Bowl and Brooklyn Bowl Philadelphia.

By Scott Bernstein Nov 5, 2021 9:49 am PDT

British-born vocalist and percussionist Duke Amayo has parted ways with Antibalas to focus on a solo career. The Brooklyn-based Afrobeat ensemble announced Amayo‘s departure via a press release and on social feeds.

Amayo joined Antibalas shortly after the band was formed in 1998. He was a key element of Antibalas’ sound and live presentation. The group shared a note from their former lead singer who revealed his last show with Antibalas took place at New York City’s SummerStage on September 18. Duke played a major role in writing and composing the material found on Antibalas’ Grammy-nominated 2020 studio album, Fu Chronicles.

Read the full note from Amayo:

For the past 23 years, I have had the great pleasure of performing with Antibalas around the world. Over that time we have rotated through 3 generations of musicians, received a Grammy nomination and collected countless memories both with our fans and musicians alike. I am eternally grateful for everything! We’ve grown up together, and it’s now time for me to pursue other interests. After the success of the “Fu Chronicles” album, the down time with Covid, the birth of my son, and a move across the country, circumstances have provided me with the opportunity to leave Antibalas on a high creative and artistic note, with deep unconditional love for you, our fans, and all of the musicians who have played with me over the years. As I say, “Gratitude living everyday.” I performed my last show with Antibalas on September 18th at Central Park Summerstage in NYC. Thank you to all of you who made it so memorable. It’s time for me to embark on a solo career, one dedicated to my rich Nigerian Afrobeat roots. As my name means, “If you don’t go, you never know.” I invite you to follow me @amayomusic on social media to follow my creative artistic and musical journey.

Blessings, gratitude, and deep unconditional love to Antibalas and to all of you,

“Thank you Amayo for your dedication to Antibalas in helping the band spread the excitement of Afrobeat music to our fans worldwide for the past 23 years,” the band added in a statement of its own. “You will be missed but we are excited for both of our futures and bringing new music to you all in 2022!” Antibalas returns to the stage at Brooklyn Bowl Philadelphia on November 11 and then plays two nights at the original Brooklyn Bowl in New York City on November 12 and 13.

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