Ever since I have travelled the continents as a humanitarian worker people & music raised my attention. And I am continuously moved by the way young people appreciate music in sometimes really desperate looking places.
For instance in 2003, at the border region of Ethiopia to Eritrea in the midst of a humanitarian crisis people merrily sung the catchy hits of „Teddy Afro“. They did that day & night by the way, so it was quite a challenge to find some sleep. Anyways, after a short while only, I found myself humming Teddy’s songs all along my way through the wild mountains of Northern Ethiopia.
Interestingly, Hip Hop seems to be a super powerful and omnipresent instrument that unites young people around the globe. Whereas in Myanmar, I was fascinated about how contemporary music found its way in a country disconnected from the rest of the world for centuries. Could you imagine, that someone just copies Whitney Houston’s «I will always love you» and makes it an official national hit with Burmese lyrics (without paying any royalties, of course)? And could you imagine that despite Myanmar’s authoritarian regime a punk movement spreads its message around Yangon? What a statement! I witnessed when in 2015 „Die Toten Hosen“ gave the first legal Punk concert ever in Myanmar – an real epic moment in the countries‘ history.
While in India I understood that Bollywood is a brilliant recipe to unite Hindi tradition and modern pop music. Of course, our education projects were important and the kids of the slums of Puri were certainly lucky to be able to go to school. However, I never saw their eyes sparkling as much as during that one hour of weekly dance class.
Music can make a statement, be a healer, a connector, a source of energy and joy. It has the power to inspire and bring people together and as a matter of the heart, this is what I want to portray in this blog.
Jamming at Yangon Inya Lake a little boy is wondering where the note went.