In the past few days we have connected with the hearts and minds of local artists in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In Lemera, we created youth inspired music that spoke of the communities hope for a better life through the successful farming of coffee. They also composed a passionate ballad that carried a collective dream for a country where people work together to solve its problems "Polepole tu ta shinda" (Slowly we can work together and win). A day later we were in the city of Bukavu recording with local artists who were inspired by the story of people from the United States running through their city to raise awareness for equal rights in the Congo. We arrived at a local studio and recorded with over 15 artists who spoke 4 languages. The result was a song composition which fuses traditional Congolese music with R&B, Hip Hop, and Reggaeton to celebrate different cultures working together for a common goal: "Pamoja tuta weza" which means "Together anything is possible". Today we spent time at a local youth center in Bukavu that takes in homeless youth and teaches them music skills to keep them off the streets. We spent time there talking with Tomas, the youth director, then it quickly turned into an improv jam session and intercultural discussion about music activism. The power of what is happening here is extraordinary. There is an unique honesty that comes from sharing art at the grassroots level. There is no embellishment or gimmick to it, just the truth about how one grows when creating it, and the feelings of inspiration one gets listening to it. We are so appreciative to be in this line of service.
The Earthwork Music collective believes in the intrinsic and historical power of music to raise both community and self-awareness and serves to facilitate and encourage original music in the state of Michigan and beyond.