Sound City Korea [Zandari Festa]

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Sound City Korea, an initiative supported by Arts Council England and the British Council, has seen the Liverpool festival take a handful of British artists out to South Korea every autumn for Zandari Festa

The festival showcases established acts, alongside exciting up-and-comers from the country’s vast indie scene. Each year Zandari places more emphasis on becoming a truly global event – attracting more international talent. Zandari exposes Korean audiences to a wider range of music, and aids in bridge building between artists, and industry professionals from all over the world.

The British Night at Zandari Festa sees an impressive turnout and has seen many of its artists go on to find success in South Korea.

This year Zandari Festa will take place from 29th September to 1st October, with 120 artists (60 Korean, 60 international) taking to the stage at ten different venues in Hongdae. View the lineup here.
This year the Sound City showcase features Afrikan Boy, Chloe Martini, Crosa Rosa, Marvin Powell, Rival Bones, and Vito.
We spoke to four of the showcase artists, and one of Sound City’s promoters to find out what to expect from the Sound Citizens when they hit Zandari.

 

Afrikan Boy

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Born Olushola Ajose in southeast London to Nigerian parents, it’s not hard to spot the impact his Nigerian heritage and British upbringing have had. Fusing together his passion for grime, rap and afrobeat with a love for a good hook. With a self-assured musical style, his lyrics are as dynamic as his musical tastes, citing everyone from Fela Kuti and King Sunny Ade to 2Pac, Slick Rick and Dizzee Rascal as influences.

Will Zandari Festa be your first time playing in Asia?
Yes, it will be. I am very excited about this because I’ve wanted to visit Asia for such a long time but never had the opportunity to.

Why are you excited about going to Seoul to play at Zandari Festa?
First, it’s the opportunity to perform before a new audience in the fastest growing market in Asia. Secondly, my younger brother stayed in Seoul for six months recently whilst on a scholarship there. He shared with me many things about his trip and said that I would enjoy it there. A few artists that I know have also told me about their experiences in Seoul but the festival is going to be totally new to me. I get excited by new experiences!

What’s something all Zandari fest-goers should know about Afrikan Boy?
If you want energy and entertainment in a performance then definitely come see my set.

Aside from performing, what’s the next most important thing on your to-do list at Zandari Festa?
Taste any interesting food and dishes that are native to Korea. I am also looking forward to discovering and connecting with new artists and music.

 

Marvin Powell

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Marvin Powell has a wandering spirit. The rising songwriter clutches his acoustic guitar, wringing out slender, spider-like tapestries of sound.
Resonating with meaning and warm emotion, his work recalls those early Bert Jansch records, or even some of Nick Drake’s output.

Will Zandari Festa be your first time playing in Asia?
Yes, I’ve never been to Korea so I’m looking forward to.

Why are you excited about going to Seoul to play at Zandari Festa?
The festival has a fantastic reputation and I’m looking forward to checking out all the other artists and experiencing something new.

What’s something all Zandari fest-goers should know about Marvin Powell?
I don’t shut up and tend to ramble in between tunes.

Aside from performing, what’s the next most important thing on your to-do list at Zandari Festa?
Check out as many acts as I can and eat as much Korean food as humanly possible.

 

Joe Fisher
Crosa Rosa: Bass player

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Having been described as “Quite possibly the best three-piece band in the country right now” by Gigwise and Drowned in Sound, Crosa Rosa is one of the UK’s most promising up and coming acts. Having already played the likes of The Great Escape, Reading & Leeds, Focus Wales and having already been booked to play Zandari Festa with full support from PRS Foundation the band’s future looks promising.

Will Zandari Festa be your first time playing in Asia?
Yes, it will be actually. But we are going to be making the most of it, we might even go to a K-Pop concert or something!

Why are you excited about going to Seoul to play at Zandari Festa?
As cliché as it sounds, the thing that has us most excited about coming over to Seoul has to be the people. We hear the people in Seoul love to drink, mosh and party! And we are flying for over 17 hours via China, so naturally, when we arrive we are going to want to see a good time. Don’t prove us wrong Seoul.

What’s something all Zandari fest-goers should know about Crosa Rosa?
If you want a show you can really kick off your Sunday shoes too, you better get down to see one of our gigs at Zandari. We are planning to host the biggest mosh pit of the festival and we really would hate to be let down, so come down and make it happen! Also, everybody in the band LOVES choccy milk (chocolate milk) and we have even put it down on our rider. So if anybody wants to bring us some choccy milk we will give you guest list for LIFE to all of our shows in Seoul. Wait, can I say that? I think maybe I can?

Aside from performing, what’s the next most important thing on your to-do list at Zandari Festa?
Well obviously playing is going to be insane, that is the whole reason we are coming. But other than that we are going to be buying as many different types of choccy milk we can, going to as many parties as we can find and are going to be just chilling with the festival goers to find out the best things to do. We aren’t really 100% sure yet what those things are yet because there is only so much info you can get from your Lonely Planet.

 

Chloe Martini

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As a self-taught producer and musician, it was Chloe Martini’s huge remixes of tracks by Sia, Sinead Harnett, Anne-Marie, RÜFÜS, Janelle Monae and Pusha T that swiftly brought her onto the radar of established DJs and artists including Annie Mac and Snakehips, who she went on to support on tour. 

Will Zandari Festa be your first time playing in Asia?
No. I’ve played in Seoul before and I absolutely loved it. It’s an amazing city.

Why are you excited about going to Seoul to play at Zandari Festa?
I’m excited to meet people from the South Korean music industry and to see performances by lots of cool acts.

What’s something all Zandari fest-goers should know about Chloe Martini?
They should know that I want to make pop and R&B great and genuine again.

Aside from performing, what’s the next most important thing on your to-do list at Zandari Festa?
I’m expecting to be surprised…

 

Nicholas Otaegui
Liverpool Sound City: Promoter

Why are you excited about this year’s Sound City Korea showcase at Zandari  Festa? What can fest-goers expect from the acts you’re bringing?
The most exciting part of this year’s Sound City Korea showcase at Zandari Festa is the depth of artistry and performing talent across such a diverse selection of acts covering lots of different genres, all with their own particular story to tell. This lineup delivers quality emerging fresh artists from all regions of England. We did not hold back in terms of delivering a wide selection of genres. You will experience a thorough view of the different musical styles emerging from England currently.

What are some of the things you recommend acts travelling to Zandari Festa do while they’re in Seoul?
Get over the jet lag, get out and about and experience this amazing city, its culture and its people. The social aspects of the city and in turn Zandari Festa itself create a perfect platform for making friends and working relations with other artists and music industry professionals. And of course, don’t forget to indulge in the Korean BBQ and the soju!

For more information on Zandari Festa visit their website, Facebook and Twitter.
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About Author

Founder of BritROK. Graphic Designer and lover of all things Punk and Indie!