Joni Haastrup: Father of Afro-Funk

The World

Album cover of Joni Haastrup's "Wake up your mind." (Photo:

Joni Haastrup is known as Soul Brother Number One in Nigeria. He earned the tag in 1966, after singing in one of the formative Afro-Beat albums — Orlando Julius Ekemode and his Modern Aces' Super Afro Soul. Later, in 1971, Haastrup got an unexpected break. Ginger Baker, the former drummer with Cream, invited him to join his band on tour. That gave Haastrup a taste for the big time and soon he was back in Nigeria to form his own band, MonoMono. The band's debut album was called "Give The Beggar a Chance." That album and two others from Haastrup's "Afro-funk" catalog have been recently released on CD. Anchor Marco Werman talks to Joni Haastrup to get more details.