Afro-Andean Funk was born from a serendipitous encounter between Peruvian vocalist Araceli Poma and American bassist/producer Matt Geraghty in a recording studio in 2018 in Lima, Peru.

As one of the most important young voices of the new generation of Peruvian singers, Poma was invited by Geraghty to be part of an album and documentary celebrating women artists from the Afro-Peruvian music scene.  

Matt Geraghty, a two time Latin Grammy nominated bassist, composer and music producer, had arrived in Lima in 2018 as part of his cross cultural and inclusive music collaboration project Just Play.

Matt created this series to unite over 300 artists across the African diaspora from Cuba, Puerto Rico, New Orleans and New York. Investigating and documenting roots music from Peru was a great musical discovery for Matt and his efforts would help bring Afro-Peruvian music and culture to greater international visibility.

Poma, who began collaborating as a singer on the project, ended up joining the production team and supporting the documentary “The Warrior of Afro-Peruvian Music”, which was nominated for the 2020 Latin Grammys.

In the 2 years that followed, Matt and Araceli began writing music together blending indigenous roots music from the Andes and Afro-Peruvian traditions with electronica, funk, rock and West African grooves.  In 2020 Araceli Poma moved to New York City and together they began to forge a new fresh sound launching Afro-Andean Funk in the fall of 2021.

Poma embodies traditions instilled by the women artists from the peñas of Lima writing deeply personal music inspired by these masters of Peruvian black music. Poma also pays homage to her indigenous Andean musical influences, writing lyrics and singing in Quechua – the native language of her grandparents. Araceli aims to bring visibility to Quechua and its’ indigineous speakers, often victims of political conflicts and ethnic persecution. She believes that art and music play a vital role in challenging racisom and fighting for marginalized peoples.

In September of this year, Afro-Andean Funk received a Latin Grammy nomination for their debut album ‘The Sacred Leaf’ released in the category Best Alternative Music Album. This prestigious honor places Afro-Andean Funk up alongside some of the biggest names in Latin music.  The 9 songs on ‘The Sacred Leaf’ composed by Araceli and Matt are inspired by shamanic rituals, indigenous culture, the coca leaf and the story of a group of indigenous Peruvian women who were forcibly sterilized in the 90’s. Their music expressively mingles a broad spectrum of traditional and modern musical styles such as Afro-pop, Huayno, electronica, drum and bass, funk, Cumbia as well as hard rock.

The sum total of Afro-Andean Funk’s album is a music that is not only deeply reflective of its roots and history, but is a music that finds unity through a diversity of sounds, languages and stories. Afro-Andean Funk’s music is a catalyst for demystifying cultural differences and building bridges between musical communities.

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