In 2014 & 2015, Sayak traveled several times to Kabul, Afghanistan to teach at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music, and work with young people mostly from AFCECO, the Afghan Child Education and Care Organization. Sayak taught and shared his traditional North Indian music, collaborating with other musicians, young and old. Sayak conveyed his sense of urgency for cultural arts exchange in Afghanistan. In his own words, “This period of Afghanistan is very crucial and tender as presidential election results will be out very soon, and the future of the country will be made. But what has been most striking is to see is the amount of raw talent and sincerity among the young people. This period is very crucial, as it will determine which path the country chooses for itself.” Enjoy this video of the performance.
Blinky Bill Launches his Solo Project
Producer and frontman for Just A Band, Bill Sellanga (2013), aka Blinky Bill, has recently launched a fresh solo project, and continues his collabs with Mitya Burmistov (Russia 2013). But this hasn’t taken any steam away from Just a Band, which just launched a track with Macklemore’s trumpeter Owuor Arunga. In addition to creating funky and heartbreaking music, and being a 2014 Ted Fellow and Red Bull Music Academy Fellow, Bill is a champion of emerging African art and innovation. As he describes in the OneBeat video “Blooming”: “I’m coming from a continent that has struggled, but also has a lot of victory and a lot of positive things, and a lot of forward-thinking minds. So that’s part of the narrative that I’m passionate about spreading with music.”