“Vote” by Alsarah ft. Oddisee, For Sudan

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Alsarah is a Brooklyn based singer, songwriter and Giant Step team member hailing from Khartoum, Sudan. She loves to travel, does not like long walks on the beach, and prefers kimchi to cake. 

Alsarah shares her experience:

Today I go to vote for the first time as a Sudanese citizen. Three weeks ago I could not contain my excitement about this momentous occasion, but today I sadly know it won’t count for anything. Despite the reports flooding in about rampant cheating in the electoral process, not to mention the recent withdrawal of the majority of other presidential candidates, I like to tell myself at least I am getting some practice in on my right for self determination.

This being the first election since 1985, it has been getting a lot international attention, and a lot of media is being produced on the country in general. Among the international organizations focusing on the topic is Media in Cooperation and Transition, aka MICT, in association with the German Foreign Office, who have been running an online campaign covering the elections in general, and released a compilation of songs by Sudanese singers and song writers, of which I was one, relating to the elections titled Sudan Votes Music Hopes. I was in Berlin for the SVMH release party when I received the news that most of the candidates running for the elections had withdrawn from the race a mere few days before people were due to go to the ballots.

While deeply dejected, I feel that at least now so many of the people of Sudan had made it clear they seek a democratic change, and that gives me hope to look forward to the possibility of a fair elections in the not so distant future.

Alsarah explains how her song, “Vote,” came to be: Alsarah Video Interview

Myspace

RIP Steve Reid

“Devastated by the news that my friend drummer Steve Reid passed away last night in New York – a true inspiration who will be greatly missed.” – Gilles Peterson 4/13/2010

We were lucky enough to have Steve Reid, the legendary drummer at a classic Giant Step 2005 event in NYC: Gilles Peterson Presents ‘The BBC Sessions Live’. The night featured Steve Reid and Kieran Hebden (aka Four Tet) with artists like Larry Mizell, Dwele, Bilal, Jazmine Sullivan, Amp Fiddler, Robert Glasper and Heavy. It’s a very fond memory for us, and it was a small but memorable step in the story of Steve Reid, a musical giant who previously played with James Brown, Sun Ra, Dexter Gordon, Gary Bartz, Peggy Lee, Lonnie Smith, Horace Silver, Freddie Hubbard, Dionne Warwick and countless others.

Photos by Donna Ward

Exclusive Interview & EP Premiere: Rehes Gets Down With Drummer/Producer Daru Jones

Just on the heels of countless showcases at SXSW (he was the drummer for everybody and their mama), Brooklyn-based drummer and producer Daru Jones was recently out in San Francisco for a Camp Lo and Digable Planets show. In addition to breaking several drumsticks and eating up all the fish tacos the Bay had to offer, Daru sat down with me on a stoop in the Mission District to talk a bit about keepin it hip-hop and church all at the same time.

Following the video, treat yourself to an exclusive Giant Step premiere: a free download of Daru’s promo EP entitled “So Good” featuring Swedish soul singer Kissey Asplund. The project is part of a monthly series Daru is doing to get the word out about what he calls “RUSIC” music (think soul-hop).

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Daru Jones feat. Kissey Asplund “So Good” PD EP (download)

“My mission was to challenge myself by releasing one RUSIC project per month, to showcase indie artists in coordination with the RUSIC sound. Each project has a different theme in order to showcase my diversity, and convey a message, regardless of the form or genre.” — Daru Jones

twitter.com/DaruJones
twitter.com/KisseyAsplund | Kissey Asplund Myspace
twitter.com/rehes

Seher Sikandar is a Bay Area-based photographer and writer who covers music, art, and lifestyle events. Check out her work at rehescreative.com.

We Bay We Boogie is a regular Giant Step column featuring artist interviews and profiles by Seher Sikandar.

New Gotan Project Video: “La Gloria”

“La Gloria”, the first single taken from this forthcoming Gotan Project album Tango 3.0, features an inspired vocal contribution from the celebrated Argentine football commentator Victor Hugo Morales who name-checks all the musicians featured on the track before shouting GOOOOOOTAN (instead of his trademark GOOOOOOOAL!!).

Stay tuned for our round up of World Cup related music.

More Info & Tracklisting

Pre-order Tango 3.0 on Amazon.