Brooklyn (New York), USA – From the streets of Freetown, Sierra Leone’s biggest recording artists, Dry-Yai’s Pupa Bajah and the Baw-Waw Society landed amid New York City’s steamy skyscrapers to bring international attention their country, urging non-violence with the free release of their latest single, "Ease Di Tension."
"..un leh we ease di tension pan dis election.."
"..unless we ease the tenion upon this election.."
The track, co-produced by Modiba Productions and Nomadic Wax in association with hip-hop community site OkayPlayer was released just a day in advance of Sierra Leone’s recent elections.Pupa Bajah and Baw-Waw Society are often hailed as "the voice of the youth", having rocked their small West African nation with hits like Grap en Clap, Angel, I Love This Lady and City Line, making them vital figures in a nation in which over half the voters are under 35.
Featured in the excellent Blood Diamond film soundtrack starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Connelly (left w/ Bajah), Pupa Bajah and the Baw-Waw society have subsequently garnered critical acclaim from artists such as Wyclef Jean and Moby, and have most recently appeared in the film Bling: A Planet Rock, starring members of the Wu-Tang Clan, Paul Wall, and former child soldier and literary sensation Ishmael Beah, produced in conjunction with VH1, United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and Article 19 Films.
This year’s elections, the first since UN peacekeeping forces left in 2005, were a true test of the fragile peace in a nation recently ravaged by a brutal ten-year civil war: an estimated 50,000 people were killed, 500,000 people were displaced, and thousands of people were mutilated by warring forces. But poverty and joblessness, along with widespread governmental corruption, some of the initial causes of the war, are still rampant, and the population has grown tired of living in poverty, without access to power, clean water, and health services.
LilMalariaBut Bajah, who narrowly escaped the war as a refugee in Guinea, has a deep love for his country and an inspiring hope for the future: "after some years we will become the shining star of Africa." To make this happen he will use his music to create change within his country, "with hip-hop you can easily pass a positive message to the public as we are doing now."
Bajah sings in "Ease Di Tension": "We need a leader with a very good intention/One with a good plan for the nation/That will take us out of sufferation!"
Download "Ease Di Tension"
Author: World Music Central News Department
World music news from the editors at World Music Central