Sakifo Musik Festival: A Melting Pot of Music
Every year, the resplendent Reunion Island comes alive with the music of different countries and cultures culminating in the musical spectacle that is Sakifo Musik Festival. Now entering its eleventh edition, Sakifo brings artists, audiences and professionals of the music industry together in celebration of music from across Africa and the Indian Ocean. The festival will take place from May 23rd to May 25th, 2014 with performances by forty artists from around the world, showcasing genres as diverse as pop, rock, funk, electronica, Maloya, blues and reggae.
EarthSync through its initiative IndiEarth, has had a long standing relationship with Sakifo, and have been working together to create bridges between India and Reunion Island, facilitating a collaborative exchange of music and culture. While many artists from Reunion performed at IndiEarth XChange 2013, a select few Indian artists were handpicked after their performances at the XChange to showcase their music in Reunion Island at Sakifo 2014 – marking yet another successful outcome of the XChange. These artists include Business Class Refugees, Shaa’ir + Func, Nucleya, and Audio Pervert. “We’ve been working with Reunion for the past three years now,” says Sonya Mazumdar, CEO of EarthSync, “and we want to showcase the diversity of Indian independent talent on the international stage, and expose more Indian artists to these sorts of opportunities and platforms. Sakifo is the ideal space to do that”.
“Performing at Sakifo is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” says Monica Dogra aka Shaai’ir, of Shaa’ir + Func, “I’ve always dreamt of going towards Madagascar and Africa – this area is unbelievably rich, and is a mélange of cultural mixes, from French to African all mixed with island cultures! Performing at festivals such as these gives us the opportunity to represent India in a way in which one rarely gets the chance – we will show people our India, full of unique, independent, conscious energy! We would particularly like to thank IndiEarth for providing this platform that is giving us the opportunity to perform at such an exotic place and for all their efforts in helping bridge music from around the world.”
Also performing at the festival is Audio Pervert aka Samrat B, one half of electronica duo Teddy Boy Kill, who were programmed at the Indian Ocean Music Market (IOMMA) 2013 after their showcase gig at IndiEarth XChange 2012, winning IndiEarth and IOMMA’s 2013 campaign that gave one Indian artist the opportunity to perform at IOMMA 2013 in Reunion Island. Subsequently, Audio Pervert has been collaborating with Reunionnais artists Psychorigid, Jeremy Labelle, and Jako Maron, as well as Hashback Hashish (India) and Leonal Dentan (India/Switzerland). “I’ll be playing three gigs in Reunion with Psychorigid,” says Samrat, “and this is also a great opportunity to explore an idea that Dominique (Psychorigid) and I have been working on – a reinterpretation of traditional Maloya music, introducing tradition to the world of technology. We are also looking at a collaboration with Reunionnais musician Christine Salem while there”.
Bass/dub act DJ Nucleya will also be showcasing his music at Sakifo, and is looking forward to bringing his signature South Indian inspired bass heavy sound to new territories. “Performing at XChange (2013) was the perfect thing for me, since my music has a heavy South Indian influence – Chennai is definitely one of my favourite places,” he says, “and I’m so excited to be performing at the Sakifo Festival now – I have some new tracks which I am saving for Sakifo, and am looking at doing a full on Indian electronic street music set.”
One of the aims of the partnership between IndiEarth and Sakifo is to expose Indian artists to new markets, facilitating international performance opportunities for Indian talent. “Reunion Island is a melting pot of so many cultures and so much music, and Sakifo does justice to this diversity,” says Yotam Agam of EarthSync and Business Class Refugees, who will be performing this year, “We’ve performed in the past, and it has always been such a beautiful, special experience – meeting so many creative souls and musicians. This year, we’re taking our set to the dance floor and giving it a fresh electronic touch. EarthSync and IndiEarth want to offer the same performance opportunities to other Indian artists.”