Diasporas, a chance for music circulation
The world is changing, men are migrating. 214 million people today live outside their country of birth. With this figure rising by 42% in less than two decades, the twenty-first century promises to be eventful! In Europe, these border crossings generate irrational anxieties. Yet they are necessary for an aging continent and bring more enrichment than real impoverishment. If there is one sector of the economy that proves it, it is ours, that of musical exchanges.
Migrant musicians or their children (or even their grandchildren) are, for example, at the origin of some of the most beautiful French “success stories” of recent years. So much so that abroad, the country is now often represented by musicians of Caribbean, African or Latin origin. On the stages of major festivals in Europe, the Americas or the Orient, the sound of France is mainly the Zouk of Kassav‘, the Rai of Khaled or the Morna of Cesaria Evora.
This phenomenom has been going on since the 1980s and is not going to stop. It is essentially due to the colonial history of the country, its ancient ties with North and West Africa, the Caribbean Islands, the Indian Ocean’s islands… Paris, Marseille, Lyon and their suburbs are home to hundreds of thousands of men and women from its former colonies, joined after-war by nationals of neighbouring countries, such as Portugal. Most of them remain attached to the language and rhythms that their ancestors brought into their luggage. They celebrate them regularly, during warm and colourful balls given in their community centers or incredible community events held in the largest concert halls. Many international careers (let’s mention Salif Keïta, Idir, Yuri Buenaventura, Papa Wemba…) started in these circuits…
But the artists who have come from these diasporas are recognized in France only if they are first ovationed across the Channel or offshore-Atlantic. At the beginning of their career, they are generally overlooked by radio programmers or festival directors who prefer less original musicians, singing in French on international rhythms. To defend them, was born the Prix des Musiques d’Ici, Diaspora Music Awards, which accompanies every year 3 or 4 winners.
Like France, many countries host large migrant communities. Comparable initiatives could therefore – who knows? – emerge soon. The artists programmed today at MusiConnect Paris would be delighted to sponsor them…
February, 15th, 2pm – 2:30pm
(Arcadie – Canada) – Folk
Shaun Ferguson gives us modern, free, transcendent and unique instrumental music. His sensitive, warm voice invites to travel. He is a worthy representative of Acadia. Acadia is not a country: it is a people, a diaspora, resulting from the oppression of the Irish and the first francophones in New Brunswick in Canada, and the “deportation” operated the English in the 18th century. Today, Acadians are present, not only in Canada, but also in Louisiana (“Cajuns”), the Caribbean, South America…
February, 16th, 2:45pm – 3:15pm
(Puteaux – IDF) – Afro Rap
“I live between two geographies. I created mine thanks to culture and music, an afro-rap, a new sound which relates me to the history of my diaspora. I created it with African musicians such as Koto Brawa, but also with white musicians, Simon Chenet and Jean Baptiste Meyer Bish, who have this black culture background / in their inside.”
February, 15th, 3:30pm – 4pm
(Haïti / Canada) – Groove Afrobeat
“You want to say something useful to society, not just entertain people…. I connect the frustrations I felt in Haiti, the political and cultural issues, to express my hope, a better situation for Haitians and for all African diasporic people. That’s what I want to share.”
Germaine Kobo et Bella Lawson
February, 16th, 2pm – 2:30pm
(Marseille- PACA) – Afro-punk tribal
“Our music is tribal Afro punk, between electro and folk, a music which allows us some freedom, some madness. We make a music which is not the addition of our two universes but a reinvented culture reflecting a fantasized Africa which becomes real.”
February, 16th, 2:45pm – 3:15pm
(Ivory Coast / Canada) – Alternative Hip Hop
Oscillating between Slam poetry & Soul, influenced by Groove, Funk and Pop notes, YAO captivates audiences with his deep baritone voice, his gentle poetry, and his trailblazing artistic approach. Already compared to some of the greatest, somewhere between the powerful delivery of French rapper Oxmo Puccino, mixed with Leonard Cohen’s intimate lyricism; he carries the public away. What truly sets YAO apart is his eclectic pop sound, a fusion of interwoven musical influences and his own lyrical escapades. He makes you dance, smile and forget, for a moment, the occurrences of everyday life. After several awards in Canada and many shows abroad (France, Madagascar, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Cape Verde…), YAO is now eager to go to meet your audience!
N3rdistan duo – Walid Ben Selim & Widad Broco
February, 16th, 3:30pm – 4pm
(Perpignan / Occitanie) – Électro poético orientale
“This project is about creating an electro music enriched by various influences (oriental, African, Westerners), bringing traditional instruments to accompany this sound creation, pushing them outside their comfort zone to play a contemporary music. We have one foot on the earth and one foot on the digital world to find wisdom, freedom, serenity.”