Afrirampo’s Pikachu

I admit it, when I was asked to write about Afrirampo’s drummer, Pikachu, I had no idea who Afrirampo is was, and who the hell is Pikachu?  I didn’t know what she would mean to me and represent as another woman musician.

I feel cheated.  I feel like there is too many amazing women performers and musicians out there that are underrepresented, left out of history, and more significantly that I’m unaware of.  I am missing out on their impact upon my psyche.

Thankfully, there is youtube, wikipedia and um youtube and whomever decided to videotape Afrirampo, because I would never have had a clue it was an all woman duo dishing out that killing.  I mean damn.  Unapologetic, blasphemously driven and bashing to whatever you thought was cute about seeing women with instruments.

With immaculate speed and penetrating precision, Pikachu is capable of simultaneously delivering vocals that are effortless.  She is at the center, and at one with the physical challenge of maintaining the beat, creating fills, shrieking in key and yes, looking sexy.

Fearless of where her next hit connects, it may seem like she does not care.  Nonetheless, with just a two piece, the drummer has a gargantuan space to fill.  It is beyond minimalist even for a punk band.  And like Animal, all the missing spaces Pikachu fills like a kid playing without worry of being bruised.  Every strike is with punkuous purpose and with meteoric dynamism.

Full exclusive interview with Pikachu coming to Tom Tom soon …

– Nikkie McLeod

Nikkie McLeod is a musician and writer. She began her musical career at the age of twelve playing the tenor-pan for the steel-band (drum) orchestra Panasonic Connection in Trinidad and Tobago.  Currently, she plays for the New York based indie rock band, Telenovela Star (TSTAR), who’s hit song off of TSTAR’s self-titled EP, The Car Song is the theme music for the teen surf drama Beyond The Break on The-N channel. One of Nikkie’s poems was turned into the song A Plum on the band’s EP.  She was a co-founder for the grassroots feminist magazine OutLaw Sister Riff which focused on issues affecting women and young girls, a recipient of Howard University’s John J. Wright Award for poetry, a finalist in the Hollin’s Poetry Festival, and a co-award recipient for the City College English Department Adrian Schwartz Award for Women’s fiction.  She’s also acted in the independent short film, Esme Seeking as the main character Esme, which has been recognized in a number of film festivals around the US and internationally.  Nikkie McLeod has worked with the “father of the modern steel pan instrument” Dr. Ellie Mannette, Trinidad & Tobago’s “foremost steel pan arrangers and composers” Ray Holman, and the steel-pan jazz musician and composer Andy Narell. She’s also worked with Black Arts Movement poet and writer, Sonia Sanchez; poet, writer of children’s books, and filmmaker Ruth Forman; and the poet, writer, actor, and musician Saul Williams.

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