Mundial organization launches new record label

July 2005 -

Sawa Sawa! by Cheche first release on the Fair Trade Music Label

When hearing Sawa Sawa! , many will immediately think: 'Great! A new Ladysmith Black Mambazo record!' Wrong! The seven men singing a-capella in Cheche are not from South Africa but from Kenya in East Africa. Like the South African Joseph Shabalala who combined the Christian choir form with traditional Zulu melodies, Cheche does the same with the folk music tradition of Kenya. The results are ten beautifully performed songs accompanied by nothing more than clapping hands and rhythmically stamping feet. Which is all the music needs.



Groups like Cheche do showcase the most folkloric side of the African culture with both their music and their presentation: panther skins and painted faces. While highly innovative, modern music is being made on the black continent, Cheche makes you think you can almost see a conductor in missionary clothing in the background.

Sawa Sawa! By Cheche is the first cd on the new Fair Trade Music Label, established by Mundial Productions in Tilburg, the Netherlands. This organization also organizes the annual Festival Mundial and dozens of concert tours with non-Western artists.
'With this label we hope to stimulate fair trade in music,' says Mundial's Maine Delaware. The name of the label suggests a relationship with the well-known Fair Trade Shops, but that relationship does not formally exist. The two organizations do, however, have similar objectives.

'We set up the label with partners in Kenya: the Karakas Trust,' Delemarre continues. 'In developing countries in particular, artists often receive none of the money that is earned with their music. We make sure that they are properly remunerated, through the Dutch copyright authorities Buma Stemra and other, similar organizations. We hope this will contribute to the development of these countries.'

It was not hard for Mundial to choose Cheche for its first release. 'The group has successfully performed at the Festival Mundial twice, and already has quite a number of fans here.'
Delemarre cannot yet reveal the name of the next release on Fair Trade Music Label. 'But it will be a group that we are already working with and, considering the connections we have, a group from Kenya.'