Afrobeat from down under: King B-Fine releases Zombie 2.0

Photo by King B-Fine - Photo by Peter Mellows
Zombie 2.0 Album cover
Zombie 2.0 Album cover

King B-Fine and his Afrikaya band recently released ‘Zombie 2.0’, an Afrobeat composition that addresses police brutality in the US and the killing of unarmed black people. It makes clear reference to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis earlier this year, which led to widespread protests in the US and around the world.

King B-Fine is a singer-songwriter and musician who started performing at the tender age of twelve, doing covers of legends such as Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and King Yellowman. He became a true follower of Rastafarian philosophy, honoring the belief that everyone is born royal which led to his stage name King B-Fine. He relocated to Australia in 2010 after stints in Europe where he developed his musical skills.

On his cross-over from reggae to Afrobeat, King B-Fine revealed to, “I had a dream in late 2019, Fela Kuti appeared to me telling me to sing in the language my people understand and not just in the Jamaican language” prompting him to revert to the style of music he grew up with – Afrobeat. “I decided to call for Afrobeat musicians here in Tasmania through a group on social media, Musos of Hobart Town. I put out an ad and before I knew it we had formed a new solid nine-piece group, a re-formation of my earlier Afrikaya band.” They have been playing together intensively all through the COVID-19 lockdown.

King B-Fine and the Afrikaya Band, Australia
King B-Fine and the Afrikaya Band, Australia
King B-Fine and the Afrikaya Band, Australia
King B-Fine and the Afrikaya Band, Australia – photo by Peter Mellows

In earlier years King B-Fine toured across Europe, sharing the stage with reggae musicians such as Anthony B, Cecile, Luciano, Macka B, Fantan Mojah, Gentleman, Vanguard, Leader, Fitta Warri, Natural Black, Gyptian, Julian Marley, Teflon, Mr Vegas, Sizzler, Kymani Marley, Lutan Fyah and many others. After his relocation, King B-Fine was fired up and inspired by his new home Australia. He created his own style and embarked on carving a niche for himself. His messages were heavily influenced by his African roots, reggae music and dancehall rhythm.

In 2015, after the release of singles ‘Shake It’ and ‘Bag Ah Love’ he made it to the number one spot on Reverbnation, King B-Fine was the headline artist at the Music and Colour Festival in Kuranda in North Queensland. He also featured at the Africulture Festival in Sydney in 2016. King B-Fine was awarded with the Best Reggae act/Best Male Music act in Sydney the same year. In 2018, he received the Champion Award at the African Australian Festival and was a finalist at the Australian Day Award 2019. He is nominated in the upcoming Gbedu 2020 Awards.

After his life-long dedication to reggae he made the transition to Afrobeat in March 2020.

He said “Unity is Love. Africans let’s come together and make history alongside King B-Fine and the Afrikaya Band! Viva Africa!”

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