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Henrietta Smith-Rolla

Henrietta Smith-Rolla

AFRODEUTSCHE (Henrietta Smith-Rolla), is a British born Ghanaian/Russian/German artist, BAFTA-nominated composer, producer, and DJ based in Manchester, UK. Her polyrhythmic compositions integrate a wide array of musical genres, including Afrofuturistic electro and techno, classical solo piano and Detroit legacy house; all memorable journeys into deep, abstracted sound.

Praised by the Guardian for enacting a new wave of club music, named by Dummy Mag as one of 2019’s most exciting artists, Afrodeutsche’s spectacular debut album ‘Break Before Make’ was released on the legendary Skam label in 2018, followed in 2019 with the debut release on River Rapid and a much praised remix for Marie Davidson on Ninja Tune.

AFRODEUTSCHE has written and performed scores for films and documentaries including the BAFTA nominated ‘Kamali’ about a young girl skateboarder in India, and a live rescore of renowned earth documentary ‘Baraka’ at The Royal Northern College of Music. AFRODEUTSCHE’s rescore for ‘Baraka’ is part of her second release on Skam in Autumn 2020, where the piece takes on new therapeutic meaning away from its original life as a live performance.

The soundtrack for ‘Kamali’ will be released on SA Recordings in October, alongside an audio library for composition. The audio library illuminates much of Henrietta’s writing process as a self-taught musician and composer. Inspired by her work with the Kyma sound design environment, it’s a set of tools for composition based around colour. Her aim is to offer a new perspective and a sense of freedom for those delving into the library, no matter their level of experience.

Hosting a regular radio show ‘Black Forest’ on the renowned NTS, AFRODEUTSCHE entrances listeners with her idiosyncratic combinations of dark electro, breaks, footwork, ghetto tech and jacking house. Over 2020 she delved further into presenting, with a memorable zoom rave for Boiler Room and hosting an episode of “music life” on BBC World Service.

Her DJ style is a synthesis of Drexciyan and Underground Resistance-inspired selections, intercut with a variety of forward thinking UK techno such as Bola and Lego Feet. Forever evolving a fully live hardware show, AFRODEUTSCHE debuted it at the opening of CTM Festival at Berghain in February 2020, integrating classical piano and hardware along with visuals. Now working together with visual artist Michael England (SKAM, Demdike Stare) on centring movement, body, action in footage and 3D work, which will hopefully premiere in early 2021.


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