An exploration of traditional Chadian music with an electronic twist…
Chad is in many ways a blind spot on the map of today’s global musical conversation. Overlooked, misunderstood and misrepresented, outside observers rarely concede the country an autonomous voice over its past, present and future. N’Djamena, the dusty capital of Chad with its well-kept stories of boundary-breaking musical collaborations and thirst for experimentation is a city that reflects the country’s diversity: the arid North, bordering the Sahara, where nomadic tribes revere the endless desert with their handcrafted instruments. The lush tropical South, where the frenetic drumming of local initiation ceremonies blends with sounds of neighboring Congo and Cameroon. Right in the middle: N’Djamena, a forgotten melting pot of cultures and peoples bursting with unrecorded stories of life at the margins of the world’s attention.
Tackling this view is precisely one of the aims of Pulo NDJ. In May 2018, Nickodemus accepted an invitation from Hape Collective to travel to N’Djamena to teach a group of young adults DJ’ing and electronic music production, which resulted in the encounter between and a group of talented artists from Cameroon, Chad, Congo and Togo. After a weeklong series of listening to original songs & demos, the recordings continued in a pop-up studio created by DJ Buosis & Nickodemus which culimated in Desert To Douala, an album featuring 11 songs, all originally written and recorded in N’Djamena.
The project found its inspiration in the city’s un-narrated diversity and seeks to explore the possibilities offered by technology to demonstrate how the country’s rich heritage connects with existing musical conversations. It strives to create bridges in a world of walls. It has been a yearlong creative process that built friendships and fostered understanding among people united by a passion for music and creation.
C Un Jour