US Hip Hop Troupe Praises Pakistan’s Rich Music
As Reported by Dawn.com
Pakistan has very rich music and through concerts we can open up conversations about different cultures and can make real relationships. The people we have met and worked with in Pakistan are amazing.
These were some of the views members of a United States hip hop troupe ‘FEW Collective’ that is currently visiting Pakistan as part of US cultural diplomacy programme shared with Dawn. The troupe is expected to perform in Lahore on Monday (tomorrow).
The troupe consists of six people — DJ Asad Jafri, Alsarah, a Sudanese-born singer and songwriter, Aquil Charlton, writer and performer, Manal Farhan, a performing artiste, Braveonk Daniel Haywood, dancer, and Jonathan St. Clair, aka Super Inlight, a multidisciplinary performing and teaching artiste.Throwing light on hip hop music and dance, Charlton said this genre of performing arts like rapping emerged in the United States at house parties in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Charlton said The band ‘FEW Collective’ was formed in 2005 and its objectives included to convey positive message through the hip hop forum, to become the voice of the young and voice of the marginalised wanted to stand as an example for types of positive things that could happen and could bring young people from different backgrounds together and fuse their thoughts.
He said hip hop had four elements i.e. DJ, graffiti, break dance and know yourself, but ‘FEW Collective’ stood for ‘Fifth Element
Warriors’ since we are fighting for the knowledge.
St. Clair said the group had performed in Algeria, Morocco and China while Pakistan was their fourth destination.
Farhan said that Asad Jaffri, also her husband, had visited Pakistan a couple of times since his family belongs to Karachi. She said it’s been great here in Pakistan.
Asad Jaffri is also running a community-based non-profit charity organisation – Inner-city Muslim Action Network (IMAN).
Based in Chicago, IMAN organises works for social justice, provides direct services, and cultivates arts in urban communities.
Since 1997, IMAN has utilised arts as a vehicle for social change and to build bridges among communities and cultures. It also works closely with an international network of over 400 artists. This work includes artistic retreats, developmental workshops, and cultural exchanges. Through national and international efforts, IMAN stresses the importance of arts in creating mutual understanding, connecting cultures, and building community. Delivering a vast array of stories, music, movement and visual arts from rich cultures, IMAN highlights the work of Muslim artists and powerful artistic movements around the world.
The group members told Dawn that they had listened to Pakistani music which was very rich and they had also prepared a song ‘Dam Mast Qalandar’ in fusion with Pakistani instrumentalists.
During their stay in Lahore, they also worked and interacted with students of the BNU and LACAS.
The FEW is an artistic collective that believes in the power of art to engage, educate and inspire. It combines traditional forms of music, dance, and art with the elements of hip hop and theatre to address contemporary issues.
As representatives of hip hop culture, its members acknowledge the evolution of music, visual art, the spoken word, and dance as basic elements of the culture and knowledge as a master element.
Some know them as the Fifth Element Warriors, others relate them as From Every Walk, but they know themselves as always Finding Eternal Wisdom. The FEW specialises in hip hop theatre, concerts, arts workshops, team-building sessions and
Pakistanis for Peace Editor’s Note– This is a great initiative by the US State Department to help foster better understanding between the two countries who have hit a rough stretch after 60+ years of a close friendship and mutual regard between the people of the two nations.