The Kennedy Center

ÌFÉ



Biography

ÌFÉ is a bold new musical project from Puerto Rico based African American drummer/producer/singer Otura Mun. Mun, an Ifá priest or ‘Babalawo’ in the Yoruba religion, has been at the vanguard of the Puerto Rican music scene since arriving from Indiana US in the late 1990s, producing critically acclaimed albums and songs for many of the island’s most important musical voices, including Mima, Cultura Profetica and Calma Carmona. ÌFÉ is his first solo project.

ÌFÉ is the Yoruban word for “Love” as well as “Expansion.” Both are pivotal themes in the group’s music. “I wanted to make something that made me feel like when I’m playing, my soul is flying,” Mun says.

IIII+IIII, pronounced “Edgy-Og-Beh” is the title of the nine song debut album from ÌFÉ, a 45 minute opening ceremony that seems equal parts blessing, adoration, and manifesto.

From its opening track to its closing prayer the album conveys a deep sense of spiritual intent, a sureness in its voice and purpose that is both brave and bold while maintaining the vulnerability and unsureness that the most intimate and honest of conversations always require. It’s been clear from the beginning that ÌFÉ is in a space uniquely its own.

From the way in which the music is conceived, a live electronic performance, no programming, to its component parts, Cuban Rumba, Sacred Yoruba praise songs, Jamaican Dancehall, and American R&B, to the way it moves seamlessly from English to Spanish to Yoruba, the music is willfully out of genre, yet focused and clear in a way that makes its newness seem rare, compelling. Serene and floating at times, determined, erotic, and raw at others, the music is as improbable as it is natural, a youthful knowing sound, aware of the weight of its voice, the ground that’s been traveled, and the urgency and uncompromising fierceness needed to meet the day.

Watch Past Performances

Video 7/13/2018: ÌFÉ

ÌFÉ is a bold new musical project from Puerto Rico based African American drummer/producer/singer Otura Mun. Mun, an Ifá priest or ‘Babalawo’ in the Yoruba religion, has been at the vanguard of the Puerto Rican music scene since arriving from Indiana US in the late 1990s, producing critically acclaimed albums and songs for many of the island’s most important musical voices, including Mima, Cultura Profetica and Calma Carmona. ÌFÉ is his first solo project.

ÌFÉ is the Yoruban word for “Love” as well as “Expansion.” Both are pivotal themes in the group’s music. “I wanted to make something that made me feel like when I’m playing, my soul is flying,” Mun says.

IIII+IIII, pronounced “Edgy-Og-Beh” is the title of the nine song debut album from ÌFÉ, a 45 minute opening ceremony that seems equal parts blessing, adoration, and manifesto.

From its opening track to its closing prayer the album conveys a deep sense of spiritual intent, a sureness in its voice and purpose that is both brave and bold while maintaining the vulnerability and unsureness that the most intimate and honest of conversations always require. It’s been clear from the beginning that ÌFÉ is in a space uniquely its own.

From the way in which the music is conceived, a live electronic performance, no programming, to its component parts, Cuban Rumba, Sacred Yoruba praise songs, Jamaican Dancehall, and American R&B, to the way it moves seamlessly from English to Spanish to Yoruba, the music is willfully out of genre, yet focused and clear in a way that makes its newness seem rare, compelling. Serene and floating at times, determined, erotic, and raw at others, the music is as improbable as it is natural, a youthful knowing sound, aware of the weight of its voice, the ground that’s been traveled, and the urgency and uncompromising fierceness needed to meet the day.

 ÌFÉ