A Congolese band that makes song from garbage are making their UK debut at Womad Festival on the weekend after a four-month stay up for visas.
Meaning “music from the garbage” in Lingala, Fulu Miziki use pieces others have thrown away, from jerry cans to flip-flops, automobile portions to plastic tubing, as percussion tools for his or her full of life “Afrofuturist” sound.
The band started making their very own tools in 2016, out of necessity in Ngwaka, a space singer and drummer Sekelembele describes as “a bad neighbourhood in the middle of Kinshasa with a big dumpster in it”.
Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, has a convention of efficiency artists (such because the Ndaku Ya La Vie Est Belle collective) upcycling discovered items.
Tche Tche, singer and percussionist within the band, says the gang used to be impressed via “street performers from Kinshasa and superhero movies,” to make use of the fabrics round them to create their very own distinct song and costumes.
“We like the sound of PVC tubing and metal boxes, but we are always searching for new materials and new sounds,” provides Tche Tche.
Fulu Miziki’s paintings, which fuses song, efficiency artwork and style, has the surroundings at its core. “We hope our collective can put a spotlight on this pollution problem in Kinshasa and other parts of Africa,” says Sekelembele, including that “finding solutions is what Afrofuturism is about”.
“In nature there is no trash because life reuses everything. Trash is toxic if it has no other use, so we give a second life to what we pick up,” he says.
“But this problem is a global one. And if Africa is the dumpster of the entire world, it is already facing difficulties that everywhere else will face very soon.” For many years, environmental activists from around the continent have warned that Africa is changing into a dumping flooring for the arena’s waste, from plastics and electronics to clothes.
Touring Europe, Fulu Miziki have tailored tools and costumes alongside the best way. “As we can’t travel with some materials because they’re too big, we have to improvise and find what we need before every show,” says Tche Tche. Earlier this yr two in their suitcases have been misplaced in Rome, leaving them 24 hours to look the pageant web page for tubing and wooden for brand new tools, and sneakers to make use of as drumsticks.
Their UK debut at Womad Festival on Saturday will probably be particular for the gang, whose four-month stay up for visas value them 8 UK gigs.
Womad founder Peter Gabriel has spoken out in regards to the affect the United Kingdom’s “hostile environment” is having on Britain’s ingenious industries – and world popularity.
“A lot of other artists from Africa have been discouraged to come to the UK but with patience and hope we finally got our visa today,” says Sekelembele, chatting with the Guardian sooner than their gig. “The UK is a very important place for us to play. There is a real ‘public of connoisseurs’. This is where pop music was born!”
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