SONGS OF HOPE AND HEALING
Time & Location
About the Event
SONGS OF HOPE AND HEALING.
At the end of guitarist and singer-songwriter Natu Camara's setlist at Berkeley's big house — Zellerbach Hall — the Ivory Coast native raised in neighboring Guinea transported the audience to her childhood and Tchadil, her grandmother's tiny village. In the village there is no electricity, but the moon at night shines so brightly that a needle on the floor can be seen. Children gather in a circle and begin clapping. Soon, kids all over the village hear the rhythms and hurry to join, swelling the circle to 20 or 30 villagers. A single child moves into the circle's center. Solo dances, accompanied by hands clapping and soulful songs, unify and uplift the community.
Camara formed Ideal Black Girls, one of West Africa's first all-female hip-hop groups. Performing music from her 2019 debut solo record, Dimedi (Child), Camara blends Afro-rock, pop, and soul, sung in multiple languages including English, French and Afrikaans.
Ideal Black Girls became Guinea megastars in 2002 with the best-selling. album Guinèya mou monèra ("it's not a shame to be a woman"). Touring Africa and speaking at concerts to young women and girls about completing college or social and workplace equity, Camara became an advocate for women and children's rights.
After Camara experienced devastating loss losing her husband to pancreatic cancer. Alone in New York with little English she fought her way back to music.
Camara picked up the guitar — inspired by a songbird at her window and a woman with a Life Alert chain she encountered in Central Park. She quit her job, started jumping onstage at small venues in Harlem, began writing music again.
That led Camara to the dozen songs she is performing on an international tour; most from her new album. The memory of her grandmother's village emerged in "Ka Hirde," a soul-rock song that had people clapping, dancing and jumping. "Back in the days of my grandmother, they used to say it's a healing song. After singing it, no matter how they felt, they feel better. I feel it every time I perform it, so it must be true."
Indeed the song's combination of looped rhythm and lyricism is mesmerizing. It's music in which to get lost and not want to be "found."
Other songs on the set list speak to social and political issues, reflecting the advocacy and music she admires in mentors: Miriam Makeba, Nina Simone, Fela Kuti, Baaba Maal, and others.
Extracts from Lou Fancers article from the East Bay Express.
Natu will perform an inspiring set at Gin Fizz Harlem as a part of APAP/NYC. Saturday January 11, 8PM - 10PM
GIN FIZZ (upstairs from Chez Lucienne, next door to Red Rooster) 308 Malcolm X Bvd.
APAP attendees with badge - FREE - $15 advance $20 door