Today marks the beginning of the Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival. Tonight's show pays homage to Fela Kuti and is produced by one of the finest curator's around, Anthony Demby of HumbleRiot. One of the stars of the show is Sinkane, who I bumped into at last month's summerstage show opening for Fela's Son, Femi Kuti. After talking about how we lived in neighboring dorms freshman year at The Ohio State University, I was able to convince frontman, Ahmed Gallab, to sit down with Every Day, Another Song and answer some more music-centric questions.
|People braving the heat for Sinkane at Summerstage|
EDAS: I know your path has taken you from Omdurman, Sudan to Columbus, Ohio and now to Brooklyn, but where does your music come from?
AG: My music comes from all that I have experienced in the world. [These places] are all different. That's what makes them so interesting. I have spent a great deal of my life traveling and learning about different things. I'm drawn to unique and interesting people and situations so every experience in different and exciting.
EDAS: There is some amazing, world influenced music coming out of Columbus Ohio these days, why do you think this town specifically is having so much success fusing these long estranged musical types together?
AG: It's easy to live in Columbus. There also isn't much to do so creative people have the freedom to really work on their art. This yields amazing art. Because there isn't a serious competitive vibe in Columbus; community thrives and is well respected there. People love each other and sincerely support each other. This helps tremendously.
EDAS: You cut your teeth in Ohio's Punk Scene. What is the difference between your attitude then, and your worldly and jammy attitude today?
AG: I was young, naive and angry back then. I wanted to emote and I wanted to do it loudly. Playing drums in a hardcore band was incredibly therapeutic for me. I got a lot of out it. I am now older, more experienced and not angry. Love was always there but, now that the anger is gone, I can embrace it whole-heartedly.
EDAS: Last time we saw each other was at Femi Kuti's Summerstage show. Tonight you play a show honoring Fela Kuti. How does Fela and the Kuti legacy affect young African musicians today.
AG: He was a hardworking man with a vision. He created something larger than himself that will live on forever. That is inspiring to me.
Make sure you head over to beautiful Lincoln Center tonight to the Damrosch Park Bandshell and catch Ahmed and his band Sinkane perform alongside Baloji, Abena Koomson, Kronos Quartet, and M1 (of Dead Prez), in addition to many others. I'm pretty sure the show is free and the atmosphere over there is absolutely beautiful. I can't think of a better way to spend a hump-day evening.
In case you need a little convincing, here is a taste of the great world vibes Sinkane will be bringing to the bandshell tonight.
Sinkane - Jeeper Creeper