Headline: Afro-Brazilian bassist, composer, and vocalist Flora Lucini (The 1865/Mass Appeal Records) is at the helm of MAAFA, a bold experiment in sound. Merging the raw intensity of hardcore punk with the intricate rhythms and percussive instrumentation found throughout the African Diaspora, Lucini has crafted what she’s dubbed “Afro-Progressive Hardcore.” It’s a thrilling new direction that challenges genre boundaries, extending an invitation to explore the uncharted territories of modern music.
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Genre: Afro-Progressive Hardcore
FFO: Dag Nasty, Bane, Absolution, Bad Brains
SITES & SOCIALS
MAAFA, the Brooklyn-based pioneers of “Afro-Progressive Hardcore,” are smashing barriers in the hardcore punk scene. Led by the multitalented Flora Lucini, a professional musician, vocalist, and composer, the band seamlessly melds West African rhythms with hardcore’s unbridled fury. Unleashed on Juneteenth 2023, MAAFA’s debut full-length album, Because We Are, isn’t just a collection of songs: it’s a thunderous roar of defiance, a sonic tapestry interwoven with Flora’s upbringing, musical influences, and battles.
The band’s name refers to the Swahili word for ‘catastrophe’, symbolizing the Middle Passage, leaving no room for subtlety on where they stand politically. As leaders in a movement resonating with Black punks, hardcore veterans, underground music enthusiasts, and social activists alike, MAAFA stands as a testament to the cultural importance of music. Their unique approach isn’t just changing a genre: it’s inspiring a generation to dream beyond the everyday and prepare the shape of punk to come.
MAAFA’s pioneering fusion of traditional West African drums with hardcore punk’s raw intensity emerged as a new sonic landscape that challenges genre conventions. The band’s initial mark was made with their 3-song Demo in 2017, showcasing their unique blend of West African rhythms, particularly the djembe, with hardcore punk’s relentless ferocity. MAAFA’s accomplished session musicians further enriched this audacious approach.
On Juneteenth, 2023, MAAFA’s debut album, Because We Are, unleashed a wave of resistance and unity that reaches beyond the music world. It signifies a fusion of generations, cultures, and genres that transcends the traditional hardcore punk mold. The album’s powerful themes reflect Flora’s unyielding spirit, boundless optimism, and deep appreciation for fellow artists within the scene. Her charismatic leadership propels MAAFA forward, drawing together disparate elements to create a cohesive and powerful musical movement.
Flora’s personal journey has shaped MAAFA’s vision and direction. Her upbringing in Rio and the challenges of relocating to Washington, D.C. helped inform her commitment to breaking free from the genre’s constraints. Her exposure to eclectic influences, fascination with punk’s unconventional expressions, and guidance from influential figures like HR from Bad Brains have solidified her love for the genre’s intensity and unapologetic nature.
Flora Lucini’s passionate activism, musical brilliance, and connection to her Afro-Brazilian heritage inform MAAFA’s groundbreaking sound. Her early years were marked by a rich musical lineage intertwined with struggles for democracy and freedom. In particular, it was her diverse musical landscape, ranging from the influence of her jazz musician parents to the punk-rock sounds of the 90s, that solidified her future as a career musician.
The migration of Flora’s family to Washington, D.C., ignited her passion for the defiant attitudes of hardcore punk, leading her to all-ages matinees, talent buying, and booking shows. Growing up in the company of legends like HR from the Bad Brains helped solidify her connection to the scene. A pivotal move to Berklee College of Music in 2011 marked the beginning of her exploration of the African Diaspora’s sonic history and the conception of MAAFA.
Away from the stage, Flora’s positivity and empathy are as impactful as her music. Far from the cynicism one might expect from the hardcore scene, Flora’s warmth and sincerity shine through. Her unwavering dedication to inclusivity and compassion, even to those who might oppose her, speaks volumes about her character. This approach informs not only her personal interactions but also the band’s mission, combining intense, aggressive music with a genuine care for humanity. It’s a balance that has helped MAAFA become a leading light in the hardcore scene. Flora’s philosophy of giving love to others in the face of their hate forms a beautiful paradox that underlines the band’s unique place in music: a cataclysmic sound with an embrace for all.
The winds of change are blowing, and MAAFA, with Flora Lucini at the helm, is leading the way. Their indomitable spirit, unrelenting passion, and boundary-breaking artistry are reshaping the future of heavy music, inspiring a new generation to challenge conventions and forge new paths. MAAFA’s music stands as a beacon of transformation, uniting diverse voices and defying expectations, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of all who encounter their unique sound. With their innovative fusion and compelling vision, MAAFA is poised to revolutionize the hardcore punk scene and redefine the very essence of heavy music.
DISCOGRAPHY & CREDITS
1. Origém (Intro)
5. A Luta Continua (Interlude)
6. Filha Da Luta
7. Not Your Exotic
8. For The Culture
Release Date: June 19, 2023
Record Label: Fuzz Therapy Records
Recording & Mixing: Chris Bittner, Mike Birnbaum @ Applehead Recording Studios in Woodstock, NY
Mastering: Chris Athens @ Chris Athens Masters in Austin, TX
Executive Producer: Flora Lucini
Released Date: June 9, 2023
Music and Lyrics Written and Arranged: Flora Lucini
Recorded & Mixed: Christ Bittner // Applehead Recording Studio
Mastered: Chris Athens @ Chris Athens Masters
Executive Producer: Flora Lucini
Logo: Frank Lawson
Album Art Illustrated: Raeghan Buchanan “Peppermint Raygun”
“Maafa” Logo Illustrated: Frank Lawson
Release: May 19, 2023
Dec 19, 2020 – MAAFA (DEMO 2017)October 12, 2018
PRESS & MISC
- Aug 17, 2023: V13 Media (Interview)
- Jul 22, 2023: New Breed Scene (Album Review)
- Jun 20, 2023: No Echo (Interview)
- Jun 20, 2023: Axe To Grind Podcast (Track Feature)
- Jun 19, 2023: Sick Rad Scene (IG Post)
- Jun 15, 2023: Dying Scene (Track-by-Track Feature)
- Jun 14, 2023: Ghost Cult Magazine (Album Premiere)
- Jun 10, 2023: Loud Hacker (News)
- Jun 10, 2023: DIGIINDIE (News)
- Jun 09, 2023: Markets Herald (News)
- Jun 09, 2023: Papi Umar Malik (Playlist)
- Jun 09, 2023: V13 Media (News)
- Jun 09, 2023: V13 Promotions (Press Release)
- Jun 08, 2023: Kill The Music (Single Premiere)
- May 31, 2023: Buzzing Guitars (Spotify playlist)
- May 21, 2023: Ritz Herald (News)
- May 19, 2023: Loud Hacker (News)
- May 19, 2023: V13 Media (News)
- May 19, 2023: V13 Promotions (Press Release)
- May 15, 2023: Status Connection (Artist Spotlight)
- Mar 30, 2022: The NYHC Chronicles LIVE! Ep. #186 Flora Lucini (Video Interview)
- Mar 24, 2022: Afropunk.com (Interview)
- Apr 21, 2021: Grrrls Like Us (Podcast)
- Apr 20, 2021: Shoutout Social (Interview)
- Jul 29, 2020: Alternative Press (Feature)
- Mar 01, 2020: Les Insoumises (Interview)
- Jan 18, 2020: Black Rockers Uniated (Interview)