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Sofar Sounds treat fans to surprise act at ‘Give A Home’ concert


Nairobi was one of over 300 cities worldwide that hosted underground music gigs in support of refugees. Sofar Sounds and Amnesty International teamed up for the global concert dubbed ‘Give A Home’.

The initiative calls upon governments around the world to honour their responsibility to protect the rights of refugees and asylum seekers.

Established in 2010, Sofar Sounds is a global network of artistes, hosts and live music enthusiasts “bringing the magic back to live music through intimate gigs in secret locations.”

Speaking to ActScene, Sofar Sounds Nairobi team member Boni Mwalii said; “The idea is to create a unique environment that allows artistes and music lovers to connect and interact without the distractions and interruptions of a typical concert setting.”

During the show, audiences are required to put away their phones and offer their undivided attention to the performers. For the Nairobi show on Wednesday night, a small, cozy living room in Westlands turned into a live music venue.

‘GIVE A HOME’

Until the day before, the concert goers had no idea where the gig would be held and until they walked in the door, they also had no idea who was on the line-up.

For the “Give a Home” gig, Sofar Nairobi and Amnesty International Kenya brought together established and emerging artistes who were part of a 24-hour global concert series.

The acts included upcoming Congolese duo Moses & Solution, Kenyan rapper Jemedari, poet Elsaphan Njora and the night’s surprise act the award-winning Sauti Sol.

“No act is too big or too small to play at Sofar,” notes Mwalii. “Over the last one year, we’ve hosted dozens of artistes ranging from upcoming musicians to Sauti Sol who are East Africa’s top musical acts.”

He adds; “Through partnerships with the likes of Amnesty and other organisations, we hope to enrich the Sofar experience by engaging our audience and artistes in meaningful activities that resonate with our shared love of music.”

SECRET CONCERT

Justus Nyang’aya, Amnesty International Kenya’s country director, told ActScene that millions of people are forced from their home country and this was the right time and moment “to defend the things that unite us and refuse to let fear and prejudice win and music was one of them.”

“To me, music bridges the heart and the message that we have around humanity and giving a home is a humanity thing and not a political thing. The message from musicians is presented with clarity,” said Mr Nyang’aya.

He added that it was a lovely environment and a lovely idea and that is why they had decided to partner with them.

“We will keep partnering with them because we have found real people with real desire to get into the work we are doing of appealing to individuals to take charge of their future and the responsibilities.”

The concert series is a London-based company that specialises in throwing secret concerts in people’s homes all over the world for charity. Sofar Sounds have previously hosted shows in Nairobi.