NOMADIC WAX PRESS RELEASE 11/27/2011 “My poor country / I dream to immunize her / to break the chains of those who wish to immobilize her / instead of growing old with analysis / I dare to obstruct those who dream of paralyzing her.” -Alesh, lyrics from ‘Reveil’
Amidst Historic Election, Alesh Releases “Reveil”
Congolese rapper’s music touches at the core of his country Congo is also home to one of the largest and deadliest conflicts on the African continent with over 5 million deaths since 2001.
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On November 28, 2011, Congolese voters will go to the polls to vote for the country’s next president and legislative representatives in the Congolese National Assembly. Roughly the size of Western Europe, Congo is Africa’s largest country and lush with natural resources. 1 - Watch the Video Here
In spite of this history, the country is perhaps most famous for its world-renowed music and arts scene. While Rumba and Ndombolo remain the most popular music styles in Congo, a small, yet powerful hip-hop community has been growing over the past decade. Meet Alesh Chirwisa, a Kisangani native who raps in French, Swahili and Lingala. His music is a far cry from the bling and boasting that is all too common in Congolese rumba, ndombolo, and main stream American hip-hop. In contrast with these styles, Alesh’s music is highly political and constantly sparking debate amongst fellow Congolese. Contact: Ben Herson – email@example.com
NOMADIC WAX PRESS RELEASE 11/27/2011
“First and foremost my people / we need to detox in order to open their eyes so they see the paradox.” -Alesh, lyrics from ‘Reveil’ Out of the chaos and instability comes the latest single from Alesh entitled ‘Reveil,’ or ‘the Awakening’. The song presents a vivid and complex picture of the Congo at this critical juncture in the country’s history. A combination of frustration and hope, Alesh’s poignant lyrics reflect how, in many ways, both Congolese leaders and citizens have failed their country. In a country with strict censorship, it is rare to hear such an honest, introspective, and brave account of the Congolese struggle. Nomadic Wax, a US based independent media production company has been working with African and global hip-hop political movements for a decade, were honored to have the opportunity to produce a music video for the song. The Reveil video was filmed throughout the DRC, including Kinshasa, Bukavu, Kikwit. However, the core of the music video was filmed in Baniele, an illegal squatter settlement on the outskirts of Kinshasa. Baniele was built on land that is in a constant state of erosion and where a single electrical wire and a single well supports the entire neighborhood of thousands.
Home to another very politically engaged hip-hop artist known as MC Scotty Kanku, Baniele was chosen as the backdrop for the video because it is so representative of the Congolese struggle and experience. “Filming the video was an incredible experience,” said Nomadic Wax founder Ben Herson, “I was initially concerned that people would be turned off by the camera and large group of people filming, but the response was quite the opposite. Everyone wanted to talk to us: old women, children, and teenagers. They’re all seen in the video. People saw this as a chance to get their word out.”
“The worst of it all is that instead of pulling us out of the rubble / you leave us all to suffocate. The number of deaths are too high to count/much to your amazement / I've plucked up the courage to say it.” -Alesh, lyrics from ‘Reveil’ Despite the seriousness of the political situation in the DRC, few people outside of the country have a grasp on the issues faced by the Congolese today. “Congolese, as well as the rest of the world, needs to see what is happening here and why,” says Chirwisa. “I believe that music has the potential to create change and open peoples minds. This is exactly what the goal is with this video: to wake up the world.”
About Nomadic Wax: Nomadic Wax is a fair-trade international record label, as well as a film, music, and educational events production company, specializing in hip hop and underground music from around the globe. Since 2001, Nomadic Wax has grown into an internationally recognized brand in global urban music and media, working with hundreds of pioneering artists worldwide. Focusing on Africa and the African diaspora, Nomadic Wax has expanded its projects into the Middle East, South America, Europe, Asia, and the Caribbean.
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Contact: Ben Herson – firstname.lastname@example.org