With Namibia having a diverse group of hip-hop, rap and house music artists it is only appropriate for those with the ability to open doors for musicians to work towards affording them a platform to exchange cultural knowledge and talent through their music with various artists from across the world.
The European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) together with Centro Diogo Cao, Goethe Institute, Franco Namibia Cultural Centre, Fresh FM, Safari Hotel and College of the Arts (COTA) have joined hands to make it all possible.
A music festival is set to take place on 26 May at the Warehouse Theatre in Windhoek. The exciting initiative also aims to provide Namibian and European musicians the opportunity to exchange their creativity and skills among each other.
European Union (EU) ambassador to Namibia, Jana Hybaskova during the EUNIC Music festivals launch mentioned that the EU is committed to supporting actions that unlock the potential of culture and creativity as a way to promote social and economic development.
She further highlighted that through this initiative, dialogue and understanding between countries and people would also be established.
“We are very excited, it’s a first ever festival of its kind that will bring artists together, 2018 is also the European Year of Cultural Heritage which celebrates and shares European culture, and this is a bridge that will bring us close to eachother”.
Centro Diogo Cao, Deputy Coordinator, Angelina Costa, added on that the Namibian music industry is sporadic and hungry for inspiration that propels local musicians onto the international stage.
She highlighted that on 24 May, there will be a series of workshops which will be offered at the College of the arts featuring hip-hop artist Valas from Portugal and Chefboss from Germany. The workshops will present a platform through which Namibian artists can go to network, learn and work with other artists.
“We hope the workshops initiate that drive to bettering relations that is need in Namibia, while entertaining the public and introducing European artists to the Namibia scene”.
Director of Goethe-Institute, Daniel Stoevesandt highlighted that Namibia had experienced an economic slowdown which effected the music industry negatively. He however, hopes that the festival and its educational component will contribute positively to Namibia claiming full ownership of the festival in the near future.
EUNIC intends on hosting the music festival as an annual event with this year welcoming musicians from France, Germany and Portugal.
Stoevesandt further explained that Namibian musicians lack opportunities to get new ideas, experience, new styles and network with artists from other countries thus the need for such a festival.
At this year’s music festival, KP Illest and Lioness will be representing Namibia. KP illest who won Best Hip Hop Artist of the year at the 2018 NAMA award show, solely writes songs that focus on the state of society and speaks for the youth on issues that he notes need to be addressed.
While a very vibrant Lioness who has been breaking out of her shell of late.
Being a female rapper is something she pulls of oh so well through her music, which speaks loudly on women being independent whilst firmly highlighting that there is no need for herself or any other women to look towards men for anything they may want in life.
During the launch an excited KP illest and Lioness who sat alongside each other showed nothing other than pure bliss and excitement on their faces.
A bold and driven Lioness took to the for front and spoke on behalf of herself and KP illest. She thanked EUNIC for the opportunity and noted that this was one of the things she and KP illest have dreamt off in terms of growing their music careers.
“Being recognised on such a platform is amazing and all I can promise Namibia is that we both will give it our best and will pull of an amazing performance”.
International artists who will be performing at the festival as well are DJ Crabbe who hails from France and is considered a contemporary reference in house music, while mixing more than two electronic genres such as traditional African music into his hypnotic groove tracks.
Hip-hop singer Valas from Portugal has performed at more than 100 concerts in his country and the music festival will be another one to be added to his list. Valas is said to have become one of the most prominent names in contemporary Hip-hop.
Chefbloss which is a duo group that comprises of Alice and Maike from Germany have entered nearly all the biggest German festivals. Together they have created Vogueing rhythms which is a mixture of vogue and rhythms such as that of the Caribbean.
Early bird tickets to this soulful concert are limited and can be found at any Events Today retailers for N$ 100 and will also be sold for N$ 150 for the three weeks before the event. Entrance at the door costs N$ 200.