Pic: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua from Vamanos Flickr
What happens when musicians don't just sing about rebel movements. They actually ARE the rebels.
When I started this blog I was thinking alot about revolutionary music. I'm not talking about Bob Marley, Public Enemy, The Clash or Rage Against the Machine - all amazing artists but real revolutionary music.
No doubt that much of the music covered on this blog is feet first party music, straight up booty & bass. Often developing from impoverished communities in recent political and social instability where music has become a channel for escape. But I still have an enormous respect for artists that call for, demand change. Music can be a gift AND a weapon.
Carlos Mejía Godoy is a Nicaraguan singer songwriter and was a strong supporter of the Sandinista revolutionary party (FSLN) that overthrew the Contra (CIA) backed Somoza regime in the 1980s. So much so, that some of his lyrics were instrumental in the Sandinista rebels forwarding their course. His songs weren't just tributes to fallen insurgent soldiers but sometimes instructions on rebel techniques, how to clean a rifle, or simply funny lyrics laughing at the enemy.
The Sandinsitas were mostly young campesinos, country kids thrust into war out of necessity and survival, to protect their own land and freedom. The guitar and accordion became a way of uniting companeros in a musically enriched rebellion, spreading military instruction and the overall fight for freedom.
Carlos & Luis Enrique Mejia Godoy - Raiti Bocay
There are few comparisons to be drawn with baile funk, kuduro, cumbia, grime etc.. but its sometimes good to think about the real situations that these artists are up against as we download their latest bangers through the comfort of our broadband. Everyone knows the best music often comes from emotions of rage, frustration and anger. I'm not saying every artist is knee deep in a hellish civil war but there is an unmistakable urgency in many of these sounds.
On that, its kuduro time.
DJ Zizisso - The Revolution 2008
Peep some amazing photos of the Sandinistas at Marcelo Montecino's Flickr.
Download the Canto Epico al FSLN album at the Perrac blog which has loads more classic revolutionary albums.