Complex Sessions 076: AMÉMÉ

The Black Coffee-approved DJ/producer goes inside the mix.

Image via Publicist

Hubert Ameme Sodoganji—otherwise known as AMÉMÉ—is on a mission to strip house music of snobbery, something he mentions consistently. In fact, for the final of our eight questions we ask every DJ who contributes to Complex Sessions—What trend or scene absolutely needs to die right now?—he politely declined to answer. The dance music he plays and creates is about connecting people, it’s supposed to be fun, but it’s far from lacking in substance.

Born in Benin, West Africa, AMÉMÉ spent much of his formative years hopping between his home country and NYC, soaking up their respective contributions to global dance music, and now he regularly tours both countries as a professional DJ and producer. As a child, he was raised on all sorts of music from across Africa, including Nigerian Afrobeats, Ivory Coast’s Coupe Decalé, and Congolese Ndombolo. Much of that still informs and feeds into his music—often described, somewhat loosely, as “Afro-house”—today.

Everything’s personal and deliberate in his music, like his track “Batonga”, which takes its title from a traditional chant from Benin that he reinterpreted with the electronics, or the samples of his mother’s singing voice that keeps cropping up, or the overall carnival feeling that permeates through Beninese culture and, in turn, his own music.

It’s been a busy year for the Black Coffee-approved talent. A run of singles, including “Kaleta”, the above-mentioned “Batonga”, “Like That” with French producer Baron, and “Runaway” with French artist Notre Dame all went down a storm, he’s had a hectic touring schedule, and the remix requests keep pouring in. But, luckily for us, he still found the time to make us a mix.

Check out AMÉMÉ’s Complex Sessions mix below and, on the flip, find out some of the music that has inspired him over the years.

Tell us a bit about your selections in this mix.

I opened with “Like That”, which is my most recent release with Baron on my imprint, One Tribe, and closed with “Patchido”, which was one of my first ever releases and the record I hold closest to my heart; its essence is deeply rooted in my culture. I’m releasing a remix package for “Patchido” in a couple of weeks, actually. Many other tracks I included were unreleased edits or artists I’ve signed to One Tribe, like Nenahalena and Bontan.

What was the one track you absolutely had to include?

This is a difficult question to answer because I feel a connection with every track. But again, I’d say “Like That” and “Patchido”; the vocals are in my native language, Fon.

Any tracks that narrowly missed the cut?

“Balafonerra” narrowly missed the cut. It’s one of my favorite records I’ve produced, but it’s more of a hybrid of Afro-house and German techno, and the set was more groovy, so this track didn’t fit the style.

What’s the first single or album you ever bought?

The first album I bought was Sisqo’s Unleash The Dragon. Growing up, I was a massive fan of Sisqo and even used to dye my hair white like he used to [laughs]. I used to learn and perform the choreography of all his dances in high school, too.

What’s the last physical record you bought?

I recently bought Gigi Testa’s vinyl for his track “Jinja”. I was in a record store in Berlin; I found this record and immediately loved it. It has a minimal, progressive, groovy style to it.

What do you want to see happen musically over the next 12 months?

I’ve been working a lot on original music and remixes lately; moreover, I’m working on my album, curating all aspects.


1, AMÉMÉ & Baron – Like That
2. Moojo & Demaya – Lotus 
3. ID – ID
4. SoulSista, Red Monk – Mooi (NenaHalena Remix)
5. AMÉMÉ f/ Mario Reyes – Power
6. Green Velvet & Harvard Bass – Lazer Beam (Bontan Remix)
7. Michel Cleis & Toto La Momposina – La Mezcla (AMÉMÉ Remix)
8. Saraga – Release The Rhythm  
9. Bontan x Lazarusman – Dramatic
10. Birds Of Mind – Mi Pena (Original Mix)
11. Omah Lay – Soso (AMÉMÉ Edit)
12. AMÉMÉ f/ Don Bello Ni – Patchido (Original Mix)

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