I am not good in numbers but the equation was right this time: there are four Fairplay winner bands, and together they will make three (yes, THREE!) songs in the 2nd Voices Against Corruption Network Forum (GYAC) in Nairobi, Kenya. It means triple the fun we had in Brussels, where three bands collaborated to make one damn cool song.
Fair Play originally intended to only invite the three competition winners -- Kafulu Xenson (Uganda), Young Life (Vanuatu), and De Bruces A Mi (Colombia) -- to join the GYAC in Nairobi. "But we've got more funds so we can afford to bring the favorite winner, Teddy and Tenny, to Nairobi as well," said Kate Declerck, smiling and giving me a tour to the bands' rehearsal studio in Sarakasi Dome, Wednesday (28/4).
Declerck is the Programs Officer of Jeunesses Musicales International, the organization who, hand-in-hand with World Bank Institute, organizes the competition. 113 artists from more than 30 countries submitted anti-corruption music videos this year. The 2011 competition is much fiercer and fun than the one in 2010, when there were just 40 competitors.
"With four bands, we've got around 20 musicians, and it'll be hard to have them all performing in one stage," Declerck said while climbing the stairs to the studio. "You don't want three drummers and four guitarists play in one time."
"Yeah I don't think it'll sound nice anyway," I grinned.
So, Declerck continued, it is decided to pool the musicians together and make three new groups out of it. Each group then were given the task to collaborate and compose one new song.
As we walked to the studio, I found a group writing the songs beside a stereo, which blared some reggae music. Inside the studio there were two other groups: one is rehearsing their song, and another packing their things up after finishing their session.
"We're done, we've got the best song," boasted Faber Augusto Agudelo Berrio of De Bruces A Mi.
I believe all three songs will be great, but we'll see hear tomorrow. Today they will be recording their song, and their masterworks will be played in the concert in Sarakasi Dome at the end of the forum.
Anyway, for you who don't know about the Fairplay winners, here's some brief hint copied from Fairplay's website:
Kafulu Xenson (Uganda) is a rapper, poet, graffiti artist and cultural activist with a five-piece band. He has been involved in the Ugandan hip-hop community since 2003, and is a co-founder of the Uganda hip-hop foundation, which empowers youth through hip-hop music and culture.
Young Life (Vanuatu) is an urban reggae band from the shantytowns of Port Vila. Young Life is a youth band which aims to send the message to the youth of Vanuatu of goodwill and peace and aims to encourage the future leaders of Melanesia to be strong and true to the wishes of the people.
De Bruces A Mí (Colombia) is an independent reggae band founded in 1999 and based in Medellín. They have released 3 albums - a self titled debut album, 'Real' (2006) and 'El Poder de tu Alma' (2008) and performed on Colombia's main stages.
Public Vote Winner
Teddy and Tenny (Bulgaria) won with 3540 votes! This Bulgarian/Nigerian duo has been performing together since 2008. They have earned an international reputation as semi-finalists of the 2009 Bulgarian Eurovision contest, finalists of the EU 'Music Against Poverty' competition and for their video 'Corruption' which ranked in the Top 20 on MTV Africa in August 2010.