The tradition of making an Africa Night Freemix began in December 2005. We felt it was a way to say thank you to the guests who always came; come rain come shine. To say thanks to people who have been loyal to Africa Night in that particular year. As with many things we at Africa Night Productions do, it was a spontaneous gesture. What we were not expecting was that it was going to be a massive hit with the Africa Night public! Even in 2017, we still hear stories of how people used to (and still) play and replay the CDs until they got spoilt. Once we started the tradition, there was no way of us stopping. Even if we wanted, people always reminded us to make a Freemix in December! Actually we know at least 10 people who even if they did not come during the first 11 months of the year, they WILL be there in December! Also the reason being that the only condition we have is that people have to be there to collect the CD personally.
You can never imagine how much work goes into selecting, mixing, designing and printing those CDs not to talk of the cost and the energy. So to expect us to reserve a CD or send one to people or to ask someone to pick one up for you, is asking too much. We did all of these in 2005 and months later we were still sending CDs (mostly at our own cost!) to people. We were still carrying CDs to Africa Night because someone says they were going to come and did not show up months after months! So from 2006 if you did not appear physically to pick it up, that was the end of the matter. That part of our policy will not change. Some people always get angry or feel disappointed that we never make exceptions for them. The fact is everybody at Africa Night is the same. We don’t treat anyone different.
In any case, after the success of the first Freemix a tradition was born. But as regulars of Africa Night would know, since about 7 years now, they can even count on getting 2 Freemixes a year. The other one is always in May when Africa Night celebrates its birthday month. In 2018, Africa Night will be celebrating her 20th birthday so you know what you can expect!
Mixing African music is not the easiest of jobs. Anybody who knows anything about the technicalities of music-mixing will tell you it is very easy to mix many of the European songs. This is because they mostly have the same BPM (beats per minute) whereas different African genres have different BPM. So sometimes we are lucky and get most of the mixing right and sometimes we get them not so right. It is sometimes difficult mixing a song that is 90 BPM with a song that is 156 BPM. And because unlike other CD mixes people get elsewhere, we don’t talk in our CDs to cover up bad mixes. If we don’t get the mixing right, people will notice. We do our best. We are not professionals. In fact the person who mixes the CD is a 54 year-old semi-retired man! He and the DJs select which songs make it to the CD and he does the rest! This year he has also made a Videomix of the Freemix just for the lovely guests who might be there to collect the CDs and especially for those who might not make it. That way they can still enjoy the music and the visuals too.
This December Freemix is not the best in terms of the mix. A lot of thing went wrong and song number 26 really messed thing up in a bad way. However we are very confident you are going to love the CD (if you skip number 26). The CD starts in Uganda and ends in Senegal. In between, it goes to Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Ivory Coast, Congo, Mali, Guinea, South Africa & Tanzania (which delivered the most songs this time around.) Diamond Platnumz is the biggest single artist this time around with appearances in 6 songs! This is also the first Freemix we could remember without a single song from the P-Square brothers!
We already printed all the CDs for Tilburg before we discovered the mess song number 26 made. But as you can see/hear in the video, that particular song number 26 (Wo! By Olamide) has be replaced in the Videomix. It will also been replaced in the CDs that will be given out during Africa Night Belgium on 6-1-2018! So right now there are 2 play lists. One is for the Tilburg Freemix CD and the other one is for the Videomix.
Enjoy the music and thank you for the love!