Nairobi meets Lisbon in Ten Cities project

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Some of the veterans of Kenya’s pop music scene Just A Band, Camp Mulla, and Xtatic will be taking part in a massive project next year with a band of producers and DJs from Portugal’s capital city, Lisbon.

At a launch in Nairobi on Thursday, it was revealed that the project will be part of a bigger three year undertaking involving ten cities around the world, namely; Nairobi, Johannesburg, Lagos, Cairo, Luanda, Lisbon, Naples, Bristol, Kiev and Berlin.

“Basically, take the recent Berlin Nairobi project (BLNRB) and multiply it by five. This is what will be happening,” said Johannes Hossfeld, director of Goethe-Institut Kenya, which is spearheading the initiative.

The collaborations play like a social experiment of sorts, because apart from the merging music, research will be carried out in each of the cities to examine the club culture, urban space and public sphere and see how that links to the music.

“It’s interesting how different the cultures are in each of these places and how they have a direct relation to the music there. This Ten Cities project will take a closer look into that,” said Johannes.

The main genre of the melodies will be electronic to mirror the emergence of this kind of music across the world, and it will only be distinguished by the cities’ individual influences.

“Musyoka and another producer Raphael will be part of this project,” said JAB’s Blinky Bill, who was the curator for the Kenyan version of Ten Cities.

Octa Push – who are brothers – will be visiting Nairobi in May 2013 with Lisbon counterpart Batida and Berlin’s Jahcoozi, and work on their music in the city in the sun for up to three weeks.

The project kicked off in Angola last month, and will move on to Lagos in January, Johannesburg the next month, Cairo in March and April before coming to Nairobi.

The second phase of the project in late 2013 will involve the African side travelling to Europe for a similar exchange.

“There will be a CD compilation at the end of the project,” promised Johannes, who intimated that the entire venture would cost about Sh50 million.

“As Goethe-Institut Kenya, this is our biggest project yet,” Johannes said.

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