The British Council and EXIT Festival have teamed up to bring Ghostpoet and 12 Balkan musicians together to produce an interactive music video platform which will allow users to create their own unique, shareable mix.
Ghostpoet travelled through eight Balkan cities – Banja Luka, Belgrade, Budva, Novi Sad, Pristina, Sarajevo, Skopje and Tirana - in search of established and emerging artists to collaborate with. During the tour, Ghostpoet recorded samples with twelve local musicians and filmed footage showing the progressive talent, richness and diversity of the region. Users of the platform will now be able to mix these pre-recorded samples to create their own individual mix, which can be downloaded or shared online.
Each of the twelve artists taking part in Mix the City tells stories of the Balkans through their music: its cities, people and culture. The musicians featured on the platform are: Saša Kukolj from the band Shizomantra (in Banja Luka), Hornsman Coyote (in Belgrade), Harmonija Choir and Verica Čuljković (in Budva), Slobodan Trkulja (in Novi Sad), Liburn Jupolli and Florin Fanaj (in Pristina), Jusuf Brkić (in Sarajevo), Vera Miloshevska from the band Luboyna and Blagojce Penov from String Forces (in Skopje) and Fatos Qerimaj and Bledi Boraku (in Tirana).
The platform will launch globally on 7 July, the first day of EXIT Festival at www.mixthecity.com
Ghostpoet says “I realised that despite of the language barrier, or having never met these musicians before, we all think the same, we all want to make good music and be creative, so this was really an eye-opening experience from the beginning.”
“I decided to join this project because it enables us to connect the music from different parts of the Balkans. It is a unique opportunity to present our instruments and unite their sound,” said musician Jusuf Brkić, who recorded his Sarajevo sample on saz, a local stringed musical instrument.
Following the great successes of ‘Mix the City’ in Tel Aviv and Istanbul, ‘Mix the City – the Balkans’ is produced by the British Council and EXIT Festival. The project is realised in collaboration with British creative agencies Flying Object and Roll Studio.
Obaro Ejimiwe is a British recording artist better known by his stage name Ghostpoet. His first album, Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam, was shortlisted for the 2011 Mercury music Prize. He followed his early success with the critically acclaimed Some Say I So I Say Light in 2013 and more recently, Shedding Skin in 2015, which also received Mercury Prize recognition. A diverse range of influences and a fondness for the experimental build the foundations for his dark, abstract musical compositions. His songwriting tackles a range of complex emotions and difficult social themes with refreshing honesty and lyrical dexterity. More information can be found at www.ghostpoet.co.uk
EXIT festival is so much more than just a summer music festival. It’s more than the line-up and the stages. EXIT is made up of its people - the festival was founded in 2000 as a student movement, so as to fight for freedom and democracy in Serbia. It was the first place youth gathered at from all former Yugoslav republics after a decade of wars. Now, its uniqueness lies in its mind-blowing location, artistic diversity, and local flavour. EXIT Festival (7–10 July 2016), combined with its seaside sister Sea Dance Festival (14–16 July 2016), makes for a world's most unique festival package EXIT Magic Adventure, connecting young people from Balkans, but also festival fans from more than sixty countries from all over the world. More information can be found at www.exitfest.org
The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide. We work in more than 100 countries and our 8,000 staff – including 2,000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year by teaching English, sharing the arts and delivering education and society programmes. We are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter. A core publicly-funded grant provides 16 per cent of our turnover which last year was £973 million. The rest of our revenues are earned from services which customers around the world pay for, such as English classes and taking UK examinations, and also through education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. All our work is in pursuit of our charitable purpose and supports prosperity and security for the UK and globally.
For more information, please visit: www.britishcouncil.org. You can also keep in touch with the British Council through http://twitter.com/britishcouncil and http://blog.britishcouncil.org/.