Oaxaca native, Mare Advertencia Lirika, who’s been rapping for nearly two decades, along with fellow musician and activist Vivir Quintana, wrote the song ‘Árboles bajo del mar’ (Trees beneath the sea) about defending territories and the rights of native people.
The song is now part of the soundtrack for the new Marvel feature, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, sharing the spotlight with artists such as Rihanna, Burna Boy, Stormzy and more.
As it so often happens, the stories of underrepresented people get lost or forcefully erased through time by those who wish to control the historical narrative.
In early twentieth century India, women were pioneering the music recording field but their results and efforts have been somewhat hidden under the radar, until now.
Because of the efforts of author and historian Vikram Sampath these women’s stories have been brought to light in the book Women of the Records. The book is accompanied by a CD on which one can hear original recordings of the artists, fully restored and reconstructed.
“Across India women, mostly from the courtesan community, were the stellar pioneers of recording technology in the early twentieth-century.
Yet, their stories have been completely lost in the sands of time.
This book revisits their lives & features the indefatigable saga of 25 inspiring Indian women musicians from across the country, from 1902 to 1947.”
In 2011 Sampath launched Archive of Indian Music, an online preservation database of Indian music, all of which can be streamed on Soundcloud, for free.
Malian Wassoulou musician Oumou Sangaré will perform for the first time at the Apollo Theater in New York on 29 October.
The gig, presented by the World Music Institute, forms part of the US-based non-profit Women’s Voices series celebrating the role of female artists in preserving and promoting their respective cultures and traditions.
It also forms part of Apollo’s Next Movement season of performances throughout this Fall.
The Grammy-winning songstress, who is behind eight albums, will perform songs from her expansive catalogue, including her recent critically acclaimed collection, Timbuktu.
“Over the past eight decades the Apollo has amplified Black voices and used its platforms to create an intersection of art and activism,” Apollo’s executive producer, Kamilah Forbes, said.
“Having Oumou perform a range of music from Wassoulou music to contemporary sounds is exactly the kind of artistic conversation that we champion.”
An activist and businesswoman who goes by the nickname ‘The Songbird of Wassoulou’, Oumou Sangaré’s work spans traditional Wassoulou music and contemporary sounds. Thematically, her music centres on social criticism, particularly women’s low social status.
Her illustrious career has drawn comparisons to global performers such as Jamaican great Grace Jones and US legends Nina Simone and Aretha Franklin. She has also been celebrated by pop stars including Beyoncé and Alicia Keys for her powerful voice and unwavering commitment to the betterment of women.