This is awesome. Africa is Toto’s epic rock tune. In November 2022, Vice wrote: “Somehow, this cheesy, emotional tune, which turns 35 this year, inspires unironic, almost undivided adoration across the web”. Vice writes, “The song’s popularity is aided by the fact that it’s actually a very well-crafted piece of music, with driving drum loops, layered harmonies, and an anthemic chorus.”

Vice claims that the song’s enormous appeal comes from its challenging words and nonsensical nature. The song has another grandeur. According to principal songwriter David Paich, “the song is about a man’s love of a continent, Africa, rather than just a personal romance”. He was motivated by “a late night documentary with depictions of African plight and suffering” without visiting Africa. Now imagine 18,000 strangers singing it:

Pub Choir has 18 000 members. As you saw, the footage was edited from Australian venues. The Pub Choir project recorded 18 812 singers and 37 musicians (including a bullwhipist) in 15 towns. Astrid Jorgensen founded Pub Choir and conducts and composes. Born in New Zealand, she moved to Australia in 1998. Queensland Conservatorium of Music awarded her a Master of Music Studies (Vocal Performance).

Jorgensen launched Pub Choir in Brisbane in 2017. The concept is basic, like British musician Bill Drummond’s “17” project. Jorgensen teaches non-singers a popular song in 3-part harmony at Pub Choir gatherings. Performance is filmed and put online. The Pub Choir’s Zombie (The Cranberries) went viral in November 2017, boosting its fame. A hilarious Pub Choir version of Running Up That Hill: