MAIN STAGE – Saturday 15th July
Kondi Band is an unforgettable live & electronic collaboration between Sierra Leonean kondi (thumb piano) player Sorie Kondi and US producer & DJ Chief Boima, who himself has Sierra Leonean roots.
The project was spawned after Boima happened upon an online video of one of Sorie’s original tracks. “Sorie Kondi is a blind musician with a will to thrive like no person I have met before,” explains Boima. “ I spotted the video for his track ‘Without Money No Family’ and was struck by his beautiful vocals and socially-conscious lyrics. These incredible melodies he was playing on his namesake thumb piano sealed the deal: I immediately decided to remix it.”
The resulting bootleg remix started appearing in DJ playlists and led to coverage by The Fader magazine. As a result, Sorie’s manager in Freetown reached out to Boima and, after a successful Kickstarter campaign, Sorie travelled to America for the first time for a five date tour. During the trip he and Boima worked on new recordings which would form the nucleus of the debut Kondi Band album ‘Belle Wahalla’.
Sorie’s lyrics are personal, immediate, and often uncompromising. ‘Girl Service’, warns against the dangers of child prostitution. ‘Belle Wahalla’, is a song that uses belly pain as a metaphor for poverty, hunger, and lack of financial opportunity. ‘Thank You Mama’ is an ode to his mother for loving him even though he was born unsighted, and the anthem ‘Without Money, No Family’ is about how even family can be a privilege.