On Monday, January 22, 2024, the opening day of Belgian Music Week, the Belgian worldwide music sector celebrated the diversity and vibrancy of this exciting music scene. In the club of the Ancienne Belgique in Brussels, the sector, professionals and public, came together for 4 showcase concerts and the presentation of the first Belgian Worldwide Music Awards.
For the concerts, an external jury selected 4 bands to present their repertoire to the public. Jawa, AKAR Collectif, Anmoor and Kosmo Sound & Imane Guemssy showed their project to Belgian and international professionals and enthusiastic music lovers. The ideal way to get gig opportunities on national and international stages!
The showcases were alternated with the presentation of the very first Belgian Worldwide Music Awards. With these awards, the Belgian Worldwide Music Network puts the spotlight on the sector and rewards artists and professionals for their contribution to the sector’s image. Jury members Michaël Robberechts (VRT Radio 1), Morgane Mathieu (Festival d’Art Huy), Irene Rossi (Ancienne Belgique) and Michel Goedart (Radio Campus) chose the nominees in each category on the basis of the long list and also selected the final winners. In the ‘album’ category, the public could vote.
Remarkable initiative press/promo
Winner: VI.BE (Week of Belgian Music)
Other nominees: Le Projet Melchior, Radio Mukambo
VI.BE supports artists and the music sector in Flanders and Brussels, from beginner to pro, from local to international. Besides advice and guidance for artists and professionals, they provide concert and media opportunities through VI.BE platform. You also know them from projects such as Lokale Helden, Sound Track and the MIAs, and with Belgium Booms they support artists and their entourage in building a sustainable international career. They represent the worldwide music sector at national and international events and are also the founder of the Belgian Music Week.
Remarkable live performance
Winner: Las Lloronas
Other nominees: Kosmo Sound, M.CHUZI
Just last weekend, they performed at Eurosonic. These three ladies learned the craft on the streets, but since their collaboration with Muziekpublique they have been enchanting concert halls and festivals at home and abroad with their committed polyphonic and multilingual vocals, subtly accompanied on guitar, ukulele, accordion and clarinet. After debut album Soaked, Sura Solomon, Marieke Werner and Amber in ‘t Veld are eager to present the tasteful follow-up Out of the Blue abroad, starting on February 28 in Paris.
Winner: Turkish Kebap
Other nominees: Gaïsha, Peixe e Limão
Turkish Kebap is a group of five Brussels-based musicians, including Dilan Ozsu, who is of Turkish-Kurdish descent. Influenced by Turkish psychedelic rock folk music from the 1970s, as well as contemporary sounds, Turkish Kebap is a subtle blend of rhythms and melodies that take us to the edge of the musical universe. They built an enthusiastic fan base over the past year and some great concerts are already planned in 2024 as well.
Winner: Ghalia Benali
Other nominees: Didier Mélon, Tony Van der Eecken
The New York Times described her as the “creator of her own myths” and named her one of the ten best stage acts of 2013. A decade later, Belgian-Tunisian singer, songwriter, composer, dancer, visual artist, painter and actress Ghalia Benali is as creative as ever. She emerged as one of the big names within the Arab world which earned her the nickname the “Aretha Franklin of Carthage.” Her artistic repertoire includes a dozen albums, several collaborations, five films, an Egyptian TV series, a book and paintings, and we can expect much more.
For the ‘Album’ category, the jury selected 4 albums, after which the public could vote for 10 days. As many as 2827 votes were cast!
Album – Public Vote
Winner: farfar, Calima (label: own management)
- 3’Ain, Sea of Stories (label: Choux de Bruxelles)
- Bai Kamara Jr & The Voodoo Sniffers, Traveling Medicine Man (label: MIG Music)
- Nisia Trio, Li Pedi (label: Homerecords)
Farfar: Antwerp-based farfar draws inspiration from Mediterranean sounds. Calima, the name of their debut album, is a wind that carries sahara sand to the European mainland, a metaphor for the musical influences from around and around the Mediterranean that give color to farfar’s music. At AMOR (The Roma) they played 2 sold-out album shows, and they were also invited to Radio 1 and Klara to talk about Calima.
Check out the showcases & awards here:
After the concerts, the evening continued at the KFK Hope, where DJ SebCat of collective Rebel UP! provided a swinging afterparty.
It is clear that the Belgian worldwide music scene is alive and buzzing with talent. Belgium is a melting pot of cultures, traditions and musical genres, which gives our country a unique position in the international music landscape.
The Belgian Worldwide Music Network unites and promotes the sector with various activities, including the Belgian Worldwide Music Night. Next date of appointment is 21/05/2024 with the annual Belgian Worldwide Music Meeting, where industry players (artists, bookers, programmers, journalists, labels…) meet for talks, networking moments and more. Save the date!
org. Belgian Worldwide Music Network, in collaboration with and with the support of Ancienne Belgique / Belgium Booms / VI.BE / WBM / Conseil de la Musique / Sabam for Culture / Playright+ & la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles
The Belgian Worldwide Music Night also received a lot of attention in the press.
Below is an overview:
- VRT LAAT vanaf 24minuten30sec: https://www.vrt.be/vrtmax/a-z/vrt-nws-laat/2024/vrt-nws-laat-d20240122/
- Uitzending Zanzibar (Radio Klara) vanaf 61 minuten: https://www.vrt.be/vrtmax/luister/radio/z/zanzibar~31-78/zanzibar~31-24001-0/
- Uitzending Time Out (Radio 1) vanaf 34 minuten :https://www.vrt.be/vrtmax/luister/radio/t/time-out~11-12/time-out~11-26225-0
Photos de Felipe Bueno Art: