Montréal-based Chadian guitarist Caleb Rimtobaye began as the singer and guitarist of the Montréal group H’Sao. At the instigation of American producer Brian Kennedy, he later put together AfrotoniX, a convention-shaking project. AfrotoniX is actually a figure embodying an Afro-futurist world, sporting a helmet of unique design, the Afrotron. His first show was a self-produced appearance in 2014 at Montréal’s SAT. Shows then proliferated. Caleb has collaborated with many artists, including Mbongwana Star and Young Paris, and he played a part in the production of the latest album by Vieux Farka Touré.
Caleb has set out to renew the image of Africa. The artist wonders about the state of the African continent, its future role and its perception in the collective imagination. He recuperates areas of knowledge and ways of life that are often scorned and endangered. He infuses the digital elements he uses with a soul and a touch of magic: AfrotroniX blends electronic music, African beats and Touareg blues. Chadian saï meets dubstep, with mbalak, rumba and deep house never far off. The shows mix DJs, instruments and Afro-urban choreographed performances, energized by a futuristic visual universe.
At the crossroads of Montréal’s artistic dynamism and Chad’s cultural wealth, AfrotroniX provides a place for African music in the digital era. In 2017, an initial album, NomadiX, was released, and AfrotroniX set out on an international tour. Reviews were enthusiastic: Caleb now seems to embody one of the future voices of African pop.