Reunion: Colourful line-up planned for IOMMA 2019

By Lucy IladoMusic In Africa

Kenya’s Makadem and Tanzania’s Siti and the Band will represent East Africa at the 2019 edition of the Indian Ocean Music Market (IOMMA) in St Pierre, Reunion, from 3 to 6 June.

The music market takes place a few days ahead of the island’s Sakifo Music Festival, which will host such artists as Ben Harper, Morcheeba, Tricky and Pete Doherty, among many others.

The IOMMA organisers say they received 207 applications from artists to showcase at this year’s industry gathering, a boost from 168 in 2018.

“In order to be part of the market, groups had to submit their projects between September and November 2018,” they said. “A professional and independent jury, composed of actors of the music industry based on Reunion Island, was in charge of selecting the projects that will perform during IOMMA 2019.”

Reunion Island will be represented by Ann O’Aro, Dogo Fara, Corvec Duo, Grèn Sémé, Kabar Jako, Kabar Jako, Kabar Jako, Kaloubadya, Loya, M’Toro Chamou, Økuna,Pigment, Saodaj’, Saya and Votia Ziia.

Others are Hashback Hashish (India), AsWeKeepSearching (India), Babani Records Showcase (Mauritius), Hey Geronimo (Australia) and Ben Catley (Australia), Blessing Chimanga (Zimbabwe), Continuadores (Mozambique) and Deltino Guerreirom (Mozambique), Eliasse Trio (Comoros), Mami Bastah (Madagascar), Mannyok (Mauritius/Rodrigues), Orbital XX (Thailand), Tune Recreation Committee (South Africa) and RougaïVerde (Reunion/Cape Verde).

“We are super excited for the music market,” Siti and the Band manager Lorenz Herrmann told Music In Africa. “It is a great opportunity to showcase our music and connect with new audiences and musicians. It is the next logical and exciting step in our career as a band to cross borders and share our cultural heritage. We are also proud to be selected as the only Tanzanian band and to be representing East Africa together with Makadem.”

Makadem said: “I feel honoured to be selected to perform at such a big music market. I expect to meet bookers, agents and to network with other musicians.”

IOMMA is known for hosting workshops and discussions around pertinent topics in the music industry, and seeks to create a space conducive for networking and exchange between artists, festival organisers, record labels, booking agents and artist managers.

Some of the programming that attendees can look forward to includes a presentation of the local interdisciplinary collective KOLET and disussion topics such as The Artist’s Well-Being: A Critical Aspect of the Live Music CommodityTradition and Modernity in Music Creation and Youth Oriented Programming.

Herrmann said Saiti and the Band were looking forward to attending The Artist’s Well-Being session because it was necessary to be able to weather the stress and anxiety that came with being an artist. 

“We live in societies where you have to function and deliver on tight schedules. At the same time no one asks us how we feel. There are hardships and struggles, which are inevitably connected to a successful music career. Most musicians live under extremely difficult financial and psychological pressure. For us there’s also cultural circumstances where society does not support musicians in their careers, especially women,” he said.

For more information, visit the IOMMA official website

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