JOHANNESBURG – “I wish that the audience could experience a memorable sonic healing, the feeling of being proud and free, to connect to their identities, spirituality and most of all self-love through my music,” said Azah to Eyewitness News.
The French Institute of South Africa (IFAS) has once again partnered with TotalEnergies Marketing South Africa and Newtown Junction to bring the Fête de la Musique (FDLM) back for its 11th year with a line-up that will keep you warm this winter.
Eyewitness News spoke to festival headliners BCUC, Urban Village, Brenda Mtambo and Azah ahead of the Fête de la Musique on 18 June 2022.
We have once again partnered with @TotalEnergiesza & Newtown Junction to bring the @JoburgFDLM back for its 11th year!
Headlining the festival on Sat. 18 June 2022 are @BCUCband, @UrbanVillageFam, @BrendaMtambo
& @AZAHBRAND!More acts will be announced soon. [1/2] pic.twitter.com/huDC4VuqJW
Fte de la Musique (@JoburgFDLM) May 24, 2022
“What we want them to remember is to live by passion, to do what you love, what you do. Our performances are acts of passion and take home the synergy, the transference of good and positive energy and vibration,” said Urban Village.
Taking place across four different venues simultaneously around Johannesburg and Soweto on 18 June, this free-for-all music festival is back in full swing after two years of COVID-related disruption, aiming to amplify the power of live music and take over the city with unique sounds and celebration.
“We would love the people to remember how they felt when the music met their mind, body and souls,” said BCUC.
Tales from an African Lounge presents BCUC – Isivunguvungu https://t.co/JoB5vXHgTx via @YouTube
new BCUC Isivunguvungu (sans Sol Williams) dig in and share with your loved ones.
The Healing (@BCUCband) February 2, 2022
The explosive Afro-Psychedelic band returns to the Fête de la Musique stage before heading off to Paris to kick off their European tour.
BCUC and France have developed a strong connection over the years with BCUC first performing at Fête de la Musique in 2015 in Johannesburg as an application entry winner and later performing at the Transmusicales Festival in Rennes, France in late 2016.
“It was not even something that we had to think about twice. We always considered ourselves as a French band based in South Africa. France has been so good to us – from our show at Trans Musicales, the whole country embraced us and became home. So we really did not need convincing on this one,” said BCUC about coming back for another Fête de la Musique performance.
The festival is happening at Newtown Junction, Victoria Yards, Native Rebels & the Alliance Franaise of Johannesburg with media partner, France 24.
Free entry; Covid-19 protocols apply.
Will you be there? Click here https://t.co/0OayuTYPIl to make your mark!#FDLMJHB [2/2]
Fte de la Musique (@JoburgFDLM) May 24, 2022
As a part of the French Institute’s vision of empowering diverse musical talent, the headliners will be joined by the festival’s call for application recipients, whose names will be announced soon. This, the organisers said, would allow a new generation of performers to share the spotlight during the festival and make live music accessible to all.
READ: French Institute of SA calls for applications for annual Fête de la Musique
“Once again Fête de la Musique promises to be an event that brings the magic of France with authentic South African vibrancy. After two years of COVID-19, this will be a chance to be together, surrounded by amazing performances across unique venues to enjoy all that the Fête de la Musique is known for,” said Aurélien Lechevallier, France’s ambassador to South Africa.
Urban Village will be back on the Fête de la Musique stage as they freshly returned from a tour of France. Back for a third time, this Afro-folk act will also be headlining the festival with an exciting infusion of Zulu rock, Xhosa funk, mbaqanga and maskandi in their repertoire.
Revivez les concerts du @JazzSLP tout de suite sur Culturebox : @kokorokomusic https://t.co/[email protected] https://t.co/wIdIc8jQcQ pic.twitter.com/qwKLSpthj7
francetv culturebox (@ftvculturebox) May 24, 2022
“Well first and foremost we are fans of what the festival represents in making music free for all. This public intervention is educational for crowds that don’t usually make it to venues to get see live performances, We’ve been fans of what it did in the past years, even at its early stages being a street carnival in the streets of Melville. This is also in good faith with the IFAS – Institut Français d’Afrique du Sud – as they have pivotal in assisting we have our recent French Tour,” said Urban Village on their return to the festival’s stage.
Urban Village has made big strides to illuminate the black experience through music.
Brenda Mtambo is another headliner act. She’s new to Fête de la Musique but not to the South African music scene with her magnetic Afro-Soul oeuvre and heartfelt performances.
“I agreed to perform mainly because of the initiates it brings, the cultural exchange that it offers and the new market that it will offer me. I love the whole initiative and I have been wanting to do it for so long. The exposure is phenomenal,” Mtambo said.
#FlashbackFriday transports us back to September 2021 when the people of Joburg gathered at 4 venues to celebrate local music at @[email protected] #NetownJunction @OfficialYards @NativeRebels_ZA @AFJoburg @FRANCE24 @FrenchEmbassyZA
E. Abrahams pic.twitter.com/V1SlUcET92
French Institute of South Africa (@IF_SouthAfrica) May 27, 2022
Mtambo has done backing vocals for a host of South Africans including Hugh Masekela, Sibongile Khumalo, Judith Sephuma, Lira, Thandiswa Mazwai and Jonas Gwangwa. She was also part of Joyous Celebration gospel ensemble.
“I want to leave the audience with hope, the past two years have been heavy on a lot of people and hope is what we all need. My shows are that revival of hope and ignite fire interns of heritage and who we are as a nation,” said Brenda Mtambo.
Award-winning multi-instrumentalist and composer, Azah, will use his musical range and diversity as a tool to spread love and consciousness among his audiences.
Azah Tinyiko Mphago (@AZAHBRAND) February 14, 2022
“My musical journey has provided me with opportunities to explore the world and many cultures therein but with it, I have also learnt patience through the many difficult and sometimes uncertain upheavals, in all this, I have purposed to remain the true embodiment of my calling,” said Azah when asked about his journey as an artist.
Azah’s debut album Batswadi involves musicians from across the continent and brings to the fore common histories, cultures, struggles and spiritual traditions.
“I strongly believe it is the mandate of the art to reflect the times, to bring about healing and to point out to optimism during these existential times of hard economic inequalities and degradation, therefore there will always be a need to re-align our frequencies to music, connect to mother earth and ourselves,” concluded Azah, who will be one of the headliners at Fête de la Musique.
The free-for-all festival will take place across 4 different venues simultaneously around Johannesburg and Soweto on 18 June, namely Newtown Junction, Victoria Yards, the Alliance Française and Native Rebels in Soweto, to increase the event’s accessibility with a wide range of locations to choose from.
We are back and we are furious with it lets go pic.twitter.com/TFVarHMGit
The Healing (@BCUCband) January 27, 2022