As a youngster in Washington D.C. during the mid-’80s, keyboardist Tewodros “Teddy” Aklilu routinely tuned in to WPFW 89.3 FM, a neighborhood network radio broadcast possessed by the non-benefit Pacifica Foundation. “It was an exceptionally left-inclining radio broadcast and very Afrocentric,” says Aklilu, on the telephone from Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia. “That was my music school, truly, and I would listen each day. They used to have a world music program, and it was exceptionally fascinating. Due to WPFW, I was inculcated into a natural mode: practical, little, public venues, and such.
While they were energetic about Ethiopian music, Aklilu, Temesgen, and Shiota were entering adulthood between Washington, D.C, and neighboring Prince George’s County, Maryland, and as Aklilu’s WPFW account recommends, were presented to a rich exhibit of impacts. Aklilu was a soccer player, and he spent time with kids hailing from nations across South America and the Caribbean. “I discovered the majority of what I was pulled in to was Afro-Something—Afro-Caribbean, Afro-Latino, Afro-American—and WPFW pushed it full time.” simultaneously, he used to sneak into go-go shows. “Inconvenience Funk, Experience Unlimited [EU], Chuck Brown and The Soul Searchers, every one of those Moog synthesizers! I was entranced.”