When you mix New Yorkers Flizzo, Opt, Jay Donn, Sedo + Danny, contorting their bodies in their east Brooklyn style of street dance called flexing, made famous by the 2013 documentary, ’Flex Is Kings’, with the afrobeat sound invented by Nigerian Fela Kuti, you get short ‘Fela Flex’ directed by Dominick Sheldon. Shot in a dark studio space, with the dancers perfectly lit, personifying each sound they hear with their every move, you can’t loving this film, no matter how short.
Okayafrica, the sister platform to the Okayplayer channel, launched by The Roots drummer, producer + record archivist, Questlove came up with the idea to mix flex-men with the classic Fela track “Zombie”, which perfectly compliments the dancers’ staccato yet fluid moves, with the fusion of jazz, funk + African rhythms.
Okayafrica producer Allison Swank told NOWNESS, ‘We saw Flizzo + Jay Donn in ‘Flex Is Kings’ + were inspired when we witnessed their live performances,’ adding, ‘With this film, we wanted to introduce new audiences to older sounds from Africa. It aims to show the positive, contemporary story of the continent.’