06 March 2012

Direct and Raw from Kenya

SoundRoots fans of the less traditional persuasion will appreciate what the folks over at Raw Music International have been up to. Billing itself as a "TV show dedicated to underground music in overlooked corners of the world," Raw Music is hosted by Chicago-based Cyrus Moussavi, filmed by Louisville, KY-based Angela Shoemaker, and unconstrained by national and genre boundaries.

On the project's website and blog, Moussavi discusses the evolution of his idea:


As the project developed, the idea of connecting like minded young people in unlikely locations also began to consume me.  As I hung around young musicians and artists in the US, I wondered why they weren’t thinking about what their peers were doing in Angola or Afghanistan.  But when the only news coming out of these places is predicated on misery and war, it’s not hard to see why people aren’t thinking of reggae or soul.  With Raw Music International, we’ll show the human side of places normally ignored between natural and social disasters and, in the process, share the world’s most glorious jams

Much of their work centers on Kisumu, Kenya. Wonder how rappers make their hits, or how to throw a dance party for kids in the middle of a slum? Check out their videos. Or head over to their Bandcamp page for a mixtape of underground sounds they've recorded. Note that some of the hip-hop backing music isn't exactly SoundRoots material; but as one creator explains, actual instruments are very expensive, and he can make his music with just a laptop, a microphone, and Fruity Loops software.


Here's a clip of the show's intro for you to watch while we wait for word of when and where we can watch full episodes:

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