A renowned female talking drummer in Nigeria, Aralola Olamuyiwa a.k.a Ara alongside other talented artists, Ruth Mahogany, and the ARB Music Band, has been selected to perform at the 2023 summer festivals in Spain.
On Tuesday, the Embassy of Spain in Abuja, the capital city of Nigeria, announced that Casa África, Spain’s public diplomacy institution, is hosting the Vis-a-Vis project. This project entails a gathering of Spanish cultural promoters and African musicians, aimed at facilitating professional exchanges.
For the past 12 years, a project has been underway on the neighboring continent with the goal of increasing the presence of African music on Spanish stages. This is being achieved through the promotion of winning musical groups.
The statement reads, “Out of 125 candidates, 12 Nigerian bands were selected to perform in Lagos State, in front of a dozen of Spanish music producers and festival directors, as part of the Nigeria-Spain Vis-a-Vis cultural joint project.”
“An audience of more than 200 people could attend the concert each day at the Balmoral Hall, Victoria Island, Lagos. After the wonderful performances of the 12 selected groups, which showcased the vast musical talents in Nigeria, the Spanish delegation had an interview with each of the contestants to decide who would go to Spain on a music tour this summer.”
“The artists selected to perform in Spain include Ruth Mahogany and the ARB Music Band and the Ara Queen of Drums. In a ceremony at the Spanish General Consulate in Lagos, a representative of the Spanish festivals and Casa Africa announced the winners.”
According to the statement, certificates were presented to the winners of the contest by Chief Folorunsho Coker, the Director-General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Authority (NTDA), and Juan Sell, the Ambassador of Spain in Nigeria.
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The NTDA presented a certificate of participation in Vis-a-Vis and a plaque to the 12 preselected groups who performed in Lagos. Among these artists were Allure-Plus, Oge Kimono and the Massive Dread Band, the Klan Band, Invictus, Korie, the Sound Order, Zeeter Oliver, Ruth Mahogany and the ARB Music Band, Iammhood, Tisho, Ara Queen of Drums, and Baba Ojonugwa J.F.O.
“The Vis-a-Vis project is organised by Casa África, along with the Ministry of Information and Culture of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the NTDA, and the Spanish Embassy in Nigeria”
“The event provides a space for dialogue, creating an environment conducive to negotiations, and promoting meetings between entrepreneurs, institutions, and organisations in the Spanish music industry that have an interest in African music.”
The statement further noted that African artists are provided with the chance to exchange their thoughts, creations, and aspirations with their Spanish counterparts.
The Spanish delegation has chosen two bands to perform at some of the most significant summer festivals held throughout Spain and draw both national and international tourists. The selected bands will travel to Spain in July following their performance in front of the delegation.
As part of a program aimed at promoting African music in Spanish music festivals during the summer season, Vis-a-Vis has conducted professional meetings in several African countries, including Senegal, South Africa, Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Angola, Cote d’Ivoire, and Tanzania. These meetings were held prior to the team’s visit to Nigeria, where favorable weather conditions during summer attract large crowds to each festival.