2013 OneBeat Fellow Kasiva Mutua is an internationally touring drummer and percussionist based in Nairobi, Kenya. Her electric performances reflect a panoply of influences, including afrobeat, zouk, samba, reggae and soul. She was awarded the OneBeat Accelerator Grant for ‘Vibe na Queen’, an interview series she hosted, aimed at uniting female musicians in the country during the pandemic through musical collaboration and conversations.
Nyokabi: I was watching your TED Talk, “How I Use the Drum to Tell My Story”, and it struck me how you explain that, from a young age, you heard music in everything around you: “with…
by Nyokabi Kariuki
Kate NV’s third album ‘Room For The Moon’ was recorded in her home studio in Moscow, drawing inspiration from “Russian children’s movies and television shows” (as she explains to Pitchfork) and even features samples from Found Sound Nation’s “broken orchestra” sample pack. Pitchfork named the album one of their top 5 releases of the week, highlighting it as “a visionary record that offers an escape from gloom”; and the album has received critical acclaim from other tastemakers including The Guardian, Resident Advisor and Clash Music.
Jason Kunwar, OneBeat’s first ever Nepalese Fellow, is a composer and multi-instrumentalist whose community work centers on preserving and highlighting Nepalese musical traditions. As an awardee of OneBeat’s Accelerator Grant, he put together the second edition of Confluence, a program for musicians of diverse backgrounds in Nepal to engage in a virtual creative collaboration, with a focus on how they can create and work amid a crisis.
Nyokabi: Who is Jason Kunwar?
Jason: I am a Kathmandu-based composer and performer. I’m a member of the folk band ‘Night’, and I have, on a part-time basis, devoted myself to solo…
Blessing ‘Bled’ Chimanga, a 2014 OneBeat Fellow, is a percussionist and music educator from Zimbabwe, who has toured extensively throughout Africa, Asia and Europe. He will be using the Accelerator Grant to publish and distribute a comprehensive educational and historical teaching guide for the marimba, an instrument central to the cultural heritage of Zimbabwe, in the form of a book, album, and series of videos.
Nyokabi: You’re a musician of many trades: you play multiple instruments, have performed all over the world, and you’re also an educator. How did you get into music?
Blessing: I strongly believe I was…
Daniela Serna is a 2014 OneBeat Fellow. The Bogotá-based composer, percussionist, activist and sound artist is a part of Latin alternative band LADAMA, birthed at OneBeat. Their latest album, Oye Mujer, has been met with rave reviews. With the OneBeat Accelerator Grant, Daniela will be spearheading the Totona Power Podcast, a feminist space for conversation and reflection, focusing on the perspectives and stories of Afro-Colombian and Palenque women and featuring sound design by a network of women-identifying producers.
I was drawn to Found Sound Nation for many reasons: a chance to combine an interest in social justice with a lifelong background as a musician; an interest in breaking down hierarchies in music creation; a shared recognition of music and sound-making as an intrinsic human trait, to be celebrated in all people as a means to build our collective voices and to understand one another more deeply. This week I think back to some core elements in a few early (and recent) projects:
Jay Afrisando, a 2015 OneBeat Fellow, is an Indonesian composer, improviser, and multi-instrumentalist. With the OneBeat Accelerator Grant, Jay is running Festival Musik dalam Layar (On-Screen Music Festival), a virtual music festival featuring Indonesian artists in partnership with several Indonesia-based initiatives aiding musicians and artists financially affected by the pandemic.
Nyokabi: You’re a composer, sound artist, improviser and multi-instrumentalist, and a lot of your compositions revolve around the intersection between humans, nature and technology. …
As a Kenyan in the world of composition, part of my musical journey has involved discovering other African classical composers that came before me and who have paved the way for the many others after them. Here is a list of five groundbreaking composers who continuously expanded and enriched what it means to be an African composer, having an impact on local and international musical communities, and also shaped the cultural and political conscience of their countries in the process.
Justin Harrington (aka Demeanor), a 2019 OneBeat Fellow, is an MC, banjo and bones player from Greensboro, North Carolina. He will be using the Accelerator Grant to fund his non-profit initiative, Haus of Lacks, which aims to connect socially-engaged artists to develop + share strategies for using art and music creation to affect direct and actionable social change in their communities.
Nyokabi: I’m sure you’ve been asked this a lot, but you’re a hip-hop artist, who plays the banjo. These are two sounds most people would never think to put together, but you don’t shy away from merging them…
An interview with our remix competition winner Diego Abelardo on process and his dedication to music education and its importance in Brazilian society.
Diego Abelardo is a musician, composer, producer and music teacher in public education in Porto Alegre, southern Brazil. He has released three albums with his project Agnostic Orchestra. His style focusses on the electroacoustic processes of arrangements and mixes, exploring sonorities and textures through compositional experimentation.
How did you hear about the Broken Orchestra project and what inspired you to submit your tracks?
I heard about the contest through friends on Facebook. I was inspired to participate…