Residents of Abuja, Nigeria came together for a concert at The French Institute, Abuja late evening Saturday 20 June. ‘La Fete de la Musique’ is a free entry concert organised to commemorate World Music Day, an event which has become a yearly fix of melodious sounds for culture and music lovers in Nigeria’s capital city.
Celebrated the world over, World Music Day has its origins in the French capital city Paris, where the inaugural event marked the start of the summer solstice in 1982. It has since been exported, featuring diverse artists and genres across the world. In 2012, The French Institute, Abuja marked 50 years of pop modern pop which saw local acts perform songs by the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and others.
‘The Nigerian music scene has over time been shaped by western influences from the 1950s and 1960s (highlife and afrobeat) through the 1980s and 1990s (hiphop and R&B),” said an official statement from the organisers.
This year’s edition emphasised the increasing popularity of electronic music and featured participants in a workshop organised by the French Institute and Goethe in Lagos. Performers at the event included Nigerian DJs Sketch, Irawo Drumline and Afrologic.
Bobai Balat aka DJ Bally, one of the workshop’s attendees and performer at the concert, told News Agency Nigeria, ‘I appreciate France who has always been a major supporter of African social life and has given many of us the opportunity to showcase our talent in music.’
DJ Sketch added: ‘I love the turnout of guests in Abuja, we didn't expect this much turn up and they made this World Music Day more fun and beautiful.’