September 13, 2001

An old photo taken on September 13, 2001 with the great DUKE AMAYO of ANTIBALAS. This was the first day of recording for KOKOLO’s debut album at Daptone Studios in Brooklyn. I titled the album “Fuss And Fight”, primarily because of the infighting that had been going on within the band leading up to the recording. The other, far less “Spinal Tap” reason for the title, was the destruction of the Twin Towers two days before. As one can imagine, the mood was rather strange in the studio given the events taking place. I had a set of lyrics I had written moths in advance but decided to scrap them and rewrite the entire album as a result. Gabe, Amayo, and Luke from Antibalas were so generous and patient with their time and it proved to be an absolutely invaluable learning experience to record with them given I was a beginner student of the complexities in Afrobeat music. I recalled we didn’t even have a Baritone Sax in the band and Martin was gracious enough to lend us his to record the album. Not sure anyone in that studio ever foresaw how drastically the world would change from the point going forward, but for the time we shared together, the vibe was good and the groove was tight. That studio was an artist refuge. Much light and blessings to all the souls who have shared theirs with us over the years. BLESS.


By Ray Lugo American music artist. Kokolo Afrobeat, Boogaloo Destroyers, Solo, Terrificos. Lugo has performed live in 35 countries, released 12 albums across various music genres, and collaborated and performed with artists such as Manu DiBango, Joe Bataan, Charlie Hunter, Seun Kuti, Chic, Pete Rodriguez, Richie Ray, Kutiman, Sofrito, Gilles Peterson, BeatFanatic, Faze Action, Roy Davis Jr., Diesler, Lack of Afro, SoulJazz Orchestra and with members of groups such as Peter Gabriel, Lauryn Hill, Matisyahu, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, King Sunny Ade, Burning Spear, Egypt 80, Grupo Fantasma, Antibalas and many others.