THE LINE-UP FOR THE 9TH YEAR OF SABOLAI RADIO MUSIC FEST IS EVERY MUSIC HEAD’S WET DREAM
The ninth annual SABOLAI RADIO MUSIC FESTIVAL starts from 12th to 15th December with over 35 musicians, film screenings and the opening of Accra’s first graffiti exhibition space. SABOLAI RADIO MUSIC FESTIVAL has drawn acclaim for showcasing the best emerging Ghanaian and international musicians experimenting across genres. The regional alternative music celebration is an annual pilgrimage for Accra’s music heads. The festival has grown with each year and mushroomed into various formats throughout diverse communities within Accra . Fans have known its beginnings as the independent music showcase IND!E FUSE, before rebranding as SABOLAI RADIO in 2014. For the 9th edition, SABOLAI RADIO has assembled an expansive lineup. The sets will be a combination of classic works of veteran players with material from ‘new school’ creators driving the sound system circuit in Accra. There is a whole slew of musicians emerging from community sound system circuits who are rewriting the rules, drawing inspiration from wherever they see fit to create their music.
Sabolai Radio will feature these diverse range of musicians experimenting with sublime electronic beats, back-masked Highlife music , Afrobeat samples and EDM. The subculture comes with accompanying slang and matching fashion reminiscent of the 90’s ‘Bogga’ Highlife era.
Look out for Azonto architect NSHONA MUZIK ‘s return to the scene . Indeed his Sea Side Disco groove is golden and a must see. A good number of these performers have long redefined what independent music is in this part of the world. It is one that is sustained by community sound systems and Dj collectives at weekly funeral parties and other social gatherings. This music circuit has created it’s own subculture outside of mainstream radio and the internet. It is an ecosystem merging and crumbling boundaries between genres and allowing performers from different worlds to create music together.We are excited about veteran Hiplife queen Mzbel’s return so of course, her set is high on the must-see list. 2019 will be a rewarding one for Alex Wondergem after years of putting in work. Alex’s new sound shifts between deep-trance and lo-fi chops. The good news is, we get to sample his incredible music on the last day of the festival as there’s a good chance we have to queue to see him next time.
OPEN-AIR MURAL GALLERY
From December 12th -15th SABOLAI RADIO opens on the 12th with the unveiling of the AFUABE mural project inside the Freedom Park, Kwame Nkrumah interchange. The open-air public graffiti gallery explores indigenous masquerade mythology and performative visual culture as a re-calibrator of urban space.
AFUABE is a collective of architects and artists whose work mainly focuses on innovative interventions within ‘dead spaces’ in the city. The gallery is open to the public for free throughout the year. The 13th and 14th will host LAB sessions exploring co-creation between visual artists and SABOLAI RADIO musicians. The LABS will also screen films from independent filmmakers across the continent. Each day ends with music performances by some of the city’s most prolific emerging acts.
THE LINE UP
The 2018 line-up features a diverse range of acts spanning genres from bass-heavy Rock by bands like Ozzie and the Others, EDM, Drum & Bass, Afrobeat, HipHop, Electro, Seaside Disco and Highlfe music. Headliners include E.L whose new music live set is a major highlight this year. Mzbel, TEEPHLOW, GASMILA, NSHONA MUZIK, Kay-Ara, and U.S based LISA HARRIS. Other favorites to check out are MENSA HIGHLIFE, JOWAA, KOJO SPIRI, YUNG PABI and Glasgow based musician/producer 100% Positive Feedback plus more.
As the Ghanaian artist/writer Hakeem Adam succinctly described the festival :
“Sabolai Radio Music Festival is the sacred shrine of independent experimental music in Accra, Ghana. The festival, which started as Indie Fuse before rebranding as Sabolai Radio, continues to provide an alternative to the dozens of entertainment activities that take place during the festive season in Accra by bringing the freshest talents in the underground music scene, from traditional folk to rock music and Hausa rap, to showcase their work. Sabolai Radio is engineered to reward the hustle and ingenuity of creating alternative music in a climate that does not support its growth by providing a platform for its exposition. Indeed, many global afrobeats artists today such as Mr Eazi and Juls have auditioned their new sound on the Sabolai Radio stage.”
SABOLAI RADIO MUSIC FESTIVAL is supported by Accra Metropolitan Authority and The Ministry of Tourism & Creative Arts. It is free for the general public.