The ONEBEAT global music exchange is proud to present our fifth annual OneBeat Mixtape, showcasing an exciting sampling of artists on the rise and eclectic sounds from across the globe. Each year OneBeat brings together twenty-five innovative musicians from every region of the world for one month to collaboratively write, produce and perform original music, and develop strategies for arts-based social change. This mixtape showcases our 2016 OneBeat fellows, an incredible group of artists steeped in everything from ceramic percussion to spoken word.
From the opening track, a song that is delivered by Algerian vocal sensation Amel Zen, accompanied by a Kyrgyzstani kyl kiak and Zimbabwean hosho, we find ourselves in a swirl of brooding yet vivid beats, lamentations, and ruminations, sprinkled with the joyful sounds of duets by surprising instrumental pairings (a tabla and a Colombian tiple, a Tunisian ney and a Russian gusli!). Two very distinct tracks, both written in the cozy library space at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, celebrate the prose of Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities. Later in the mix, we hear the incredibly heartbreaking story of Ellen Pakkies, musically imagined by South African bassist Benjamin Jephta, and narrated by Ghanaian spoken word artist Ama Diaka (Poetra Asantewa), followed by the vibrant music of Colombia’s Llanos Orientales region, expertly delivered by two virtuosic musicians, Bogota-based tiple player Diego Bahamon and New Orleans native Martin Masakowski. We hear the bold and striking vocals of Grace Love, a Seattle-based singer, along with Rosie Tucker, the fearless Californian front woman of all female post-rock group Gypsum, and MCs Ricardo Nigaglioni and Kamerum al Akademico, as they sound a resonant plea in the track ‘Listen’.
We also get a chance to hear the brilliance of some of the young artists we encountered during OneBeat 2016, in the tracks Whose World Is This and Make it to the Top, produced and recorded at New Orleans hip-hop artist Mr. Serv-On’s studios and written in collaboration with youth from Silence is Violence, a program that works towards a safe and equitable New Orleans.
OneBeat and its ever-growing network of global musicians continue to establish cross-cultural connections, delivering music that evokes a profound sense of origin while conjuring a thrilling collective and unifying new musical horizon.