We welcome the wonderful WEMA to Ramsgate on June 2nd: a sublime supergroup featuring Penya, Msafiri Zawose and Photay!
Following this special, spiritual set is a DJ session from Photay himself!
Remember: it’s a BANK HOLIDAY Thursday – this is how we start a 4-day weekend…
“We all arrived at this project through our own appreciations of rhythmic lineages and global music traditions. The music poured out of us and we barely had to speak about it” – Photay
For WEMA, collaboration is a state of mind. The five-piece collective – consisting of Tanzanian multi-instrumentalist Msafiri Zawose, producer Photay and Penya members Magnus P.I, Lilli Elina and Jimmy le Messurier – is an artistic pursuit founded on community; a space in which to harness the transformative power of connection. Translated from Swahili, ‘wema’ means kindness and benevolence – virtues that lie at the core of the project, and are reflected in the group’s world-embracing approach to music. “WEMA is a state of gratitude and belief, without sorrow or grief. It’s about giving your entire heart” Msafiri declares.
There’s a palpable optimism running through WEMA; it’s raw, unfiltered music that is as danceable as it is soul-stirring. Crucially, WEMA is a representation of their diverse musical backgrounds and interests without being undermined by the reductive ‘world music’ label. WEMA is about connecting the dots between language, cultures and musical practices – all while paying due respect to artistic heritage. “With this project my aim was to try and present – or even encourage – some idea of cultural fusion, in a positive sense. I’m a mixed-race kid and growing up I always viewed this [fusion] as natural. Now I can see that worldview has been foundational in the way I approach music. I’m interested in its unifying potential” Magnus says.
It’s through this vision of inclusivity that WEMA eagerly anticipate the moment they’re able to bring their exhilarating productions to life. After all, as multi- instrumentalists who have built their foundations on live performance, their true home is on stage. The WEMA live show will simply be another extension of their artistic mission; a place in which to unite through the mystical sounds of our ancestors. The message is disarming in its humanity: “We want to create a sound and identity that transcends scenes, countries and borders”.
“A vibrant fiesta of Cuban-influenced magnificence. It’s wild and untamed and will lift your spirits in a heartbeat” – Louder Than War on Penya
“Captivating… nimble house and disco rhythms and real emotional weight” – Pitchfork on Photay