Senegal – Like reggae music and its offspring, reggaetòn, which emerged from the trench towns of Jamaica and the barrios of Puerto Rico respectively, African hip-hop is joining it as the new international music gaining global recognition. For twenty years or more, American hip-hop has influenced the music of the younger generations across the continent and now the African Motherland is reaching back.
A Round World Music has announced, "The Ancient Meets Urban" tour which will kicked off with featured act, Gokh-bi System, on April 7, 2007 at The Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, MA. The band spent nearly all of March-June touring up and down the east coast and will open for Angelique Kidjo on Sunday, June 10th in Hartford, CT, 7pm at The International Arts & Ideas Festival. Ancient Meets Urban is a mission-based musical experience featuring a tour of young, rising music stars who blend traditional African music with urban music styles including hip hop, dancehall reggae, and R&B. In sync with their mission to bridge "Ancient" Africa and "Urban" America, A Round World Music acts, Gokh-bi System, leaders of the emerging African hip-hop movement and one of the most popular African groups in the U.S. today will be the featured act.
In alignment with June’s Black Music Month, while on tour, AMU artists will also visit local schools, colleges, and universities in each market bringing the Ancient Meets Urban experience to the classrooms in an effort to reach and impact the younger generation by exposing them to music from abroad – music filled with messages about peace, love, and justice.
Since their arrival in America, Gokh-bi System has completed over 9 US tours including performances at a number of major festivals including Bumbershoot in Seattle, WA, National Geographic’s All Roads Film Festival, The International Festival in Louisiana, The World Music Festival in Indiana and Chicago, Festival Nuits d’Afrique in Montreal (Quebec), Sunfest (London, Ontario), The Celebrate Brooklyn African Festival (New York), and opened for Kanye West, Damian Marley, Tribe Called Quest, Angelique Kidjo, Femi Kuti, Culture, Toots and the Maytals, Michael Franti (Spearhead), and Erykah Badu.
A Round World Music Productions, Inc. was launched in 2001 with a mission of leveraging the universal language of music to stimulate curiosity about world cultures and empower people to explore and discover their world, igniting a spirit of global awareness and appreciation.
"In addition to aiding Africa’s development, our vision is for AMU artists to unite on tour to celebrate the "Black Experience," and reconnect Africans from the Diasporas with their heritage," explains Doug Deutsch, CEO and Founder of A Round World Music/Ancient Meets Urban. He adds, "We recognize African-American progress and African progress are linked and our goal is to highlight opportunities that bridge the gap and play a greater role in rebuilding Africa using the music from its soil as our first approach."
A portion of the proceeds from the AMU Tour and CD sales will be contributed to the AMU Academy of Justice (AMUAJ), a non-profit organization founded in 2007 to aid in Africa’s development with a focus on economic development and education. A contribution will also be made to establish a state of art music studio in the impoverished village of Pikine Guinaw Rails (Dakar, Senegal) and create a music distribution model to provide African artists with an opportunity to create and sell their music around the world.
Photo credit: Pape "Bathie" Pouye