From Jazz which was used as the music of resistance, to Kwaito which spoke for the township youth and now the millennials who are revamping the African music notes by infusing sounds from the past with futuristic sounds of today’s time.
A diverse gathering of expatriates, overwhelmingly from African countries, recently enjoyed African music at Mövenpick Hotel Doha. The music lovers enjoyed the tunes and electronic beats of African music played by an adept DJ.
The music lovers gathered at Jazz Up, sports lounge of the hotel, to attend the evening, dedicated to the up-beat African music.
DJ Dawit Bekele kept spinning some of his best tunes, from reggae, hip hop, dance hall, to R&B and urban.
Talking to Community, the DJ said, “I am an independent DJ. I love my job. It is beautiful to play music and to see the crowd having fun. I mostly play African songs. I am from Ethiopia so I also play songs from my country creating a mesh of African music and US soundtracks.”
“I have been playing music as DJ for a long time now. I usually play music from East African countries like, Somalia, Eritrea, Sudan, Djibouti, and Kenya. People from different backgrounds come to listen to African music. Some Arabs also come. They like and enjoy it very much. Some of the music is in English. I play songs of well-known African and American singers,” He added, “I am a mechanical engineer. However, I love music and I also plan on doing a singing debut myself soon.”
Solomon Abera, organiser of the music event, said,
“I invite famous singers from Ethiopia, other African countries and from America. I have been organising African music events in major hotels and gatherings in Qatar.”
“I continue to see people really enjoying the African music at the events. I see people enjoying the music especially on weekends after their work, unwinding to some up-beat tunes. The music high in-demand here in Doha because the city has heterogeneous population. I have also invited African-American singers from US.”
Kaval Siddhu, Communication Manager at the hotel, said,
“Actually, our Jazz Up lounge has been here for a long time. We were thinking to bring something unique and new for people. We ran Bollywood Nights at the lounge for a month that ended just before the Ramadan.”
She added, “We are in the process of starting some new initiatives for our Jazz Up lounge. I have not seen much advertisement for African music. So, we thought why not to give an African touch for the music lovers here. I personally like Zumba music. We received wonderful response from the people who attended the Thursday launch. We look forward to welcoming people for this wonderful and entertaining initiative.”
Community also spoke to some of the people who attended and enjoyed the music.
Abdul Jalil Sultan, an Ethiopian expatriate, said,
“I loved being here. I enjoyed the different kinds of music played by the young DJ. I love listening traditional Ethiopian music and would definitely try and come to the African night again.”
Mohammad Abdul Rahman, another listener, said,
“I really enjoyed the ambience and the dexterity of the DJ. I enjoyed my time listening to the African music. It is a rarity in Doha. People do not get many chances to listen to African music in public. There are a good number of expatriates from African countries. I would like the organisers to improve on the initiative; they need to bring in more variety. A mix of African and American music will do well for those who really want to enjoy jazz and other music genres.”
Sharing her experience of the music, Anna from South Africa said,
“It was amazing. It was a wonderful experience. I will definitely like to listen to more of such music. It was a refreshing experience. I also want to see more such gatherings of African people in Doha.”