23 December 2017

Gambia: Welcome to Another Edition of the Arts and Music Column

This Is the Column That Seeks to Promote Culture, Performing and Fine Arts. in Today's Edition, We Will Deal With Humanity Starz Who Have Returned From the VFM Festival.

The group is a Gambian 'Mbalah' band and have returned home after performing in Visa For Music (VFM) Festival in Morocco Rabat recently.

The event which was held on from the 22-25 November 2017 in Rabat, was the first professional market of Africa and Middle-Eastern music. The event first started in 2013 and this is its 4th edition. There were 30 showcases with conferences, documentary projections, speed-meetings, workshops and trainings.

This project was born out of a paradox that on the one hand, there is lack of visibility for African and Middle-Eastern artists at the international level whilst on the other hand, a very important artistic dynamism and musical creation is coming from such musicians. To fight against this problem, Visa For Music has as its first goal, to highlight the artistic creation of African and the Middle-Eastern music.

Mbye Bittaye, Manager of Humanity Starz told journalists that they performed well in Rabat and were able to make lots of contacts. According to him, despite all the obstacles, they were able entertain international audiences with a different genres of music while in Morocco.

"Everybody appreciated the performance of the band during their stage performances, that prompted the organisers to invite us for the 2018 edition of the VFM," he added. He commended Gambians who supported the band to make the trip a success.

Alieu Badara, lead vocalist of the band said they represented the country at the international festival by raising the flag of the Gambia higher. "We were appreciated by the audiences because of the originality of the music we play. We will endeavor to play music that will educate and entertain the people around the globe", he said

He revealed that they are currently working on an international album for the wider audience.

Brahim EL Mazned, Director of VFM, said the platform is an arena to showcase Africa's musical identity and give opportunity for artists of the continent to be known by professionals from around the world, through meetings and showcases; that the quality of the programming is the key factor for its success. The organisation of the event in Morocco, a country that is a gate to the African continent and the Middle-East, allows them to take advantage of the national cultural and musical landscape and offer visibility to the rest of the region.


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