KING OF BONGO : MANU CHAO SPEAKS THE TRUTH!
I always remember hearing « Puta’s Fever » for the first time in the mid 80′s along with Les Negresses Vertes and thinking what the fuck is this great stuff that’s mixing up Latin, Ragga, Punk, Rock, Rockabilly, Arabic and African sounds into magical 3 minute, half-finished pop songs!
It blew me away then and then it disappeared!
Then Manu re-surfaced in early 2000 with his classic albums and the rest is history!
Anyway, I love what this man does and I love what this man has to say. He comes across just like I imagined, a humble person who is very grateful for his lucky breaks and for being able to travel the world and do what he does. Without getting caught up in the excess of celebrity and all that bullshit and keeping an ear to the ground to seek out the truth.
Anyway, my homie in the UK, Callum Simpson, a.k.a. DJ Cal Jader who has just emerged on the London Club scene recently with his Movimientos nights managed to conduct a radio interview with this legend this week. It was aired on his Open Air University radio show.
It’s quite a fascinating listen too.
To hear Manu speak about how he views the industry and that awful « world music » branding term, which he rightfully describes as neo-colonialist.
Man I was so happy to hear that cause I’ve been banging on about the same thing for years. You know, let’s play the music of the natives and let’s call it « World Music » and let’s create a little cottage industry around it. Let’s continue the colonization as we’re middle class, rich folk and we know how to present this music better than the natives themselves and let’s look and feel very important whilst we’re doing it etc etc etc ….
At first I was taken in thinking these people were very genuine and caring about music from around the world, I subscribed to their magazines and followed the movement with interest. Then I met some of them and started getting engaged in some of their activities and boy was I disappointed with their Neo-Colonialist attitudes and old boys network world.
Anyway, moving on cause I could probably wrote a whole thesis about that but I’m just spouting off here totally improvised.
It’s also very interesting what Manu has to say about « Artists » thinking of themselves as artists and some real controversial, but IMHO, truthful stuff about Afghanistan!
It’s not all political and there are loads of light and humorous moments in there too and some great music including some exclusive live tracks by Manu.
Anyway, check it out and big up Cal!