Black is my Soul / Black is my Heart PDF Print E-mail
�Black people sang as a form of protest, in order to free the soul now that their song could not be silenced with chains.� Sasha Campbell incorporates this feeling, inherited from her ancestors, into her particular style of performance. The standard bearer of hip-hop in Costa Rica is one of the top artists performing jazz, soul, and rhythm and blues. This 29 years old woman is the youngest of seven siblings and mother of little life. She is also Director of Programming ar FM 911 La Radio and producer of Calibre 38, a show broadcasting weekday mornings from 7 to 9.

Sasha Campbell Costa Rica
Sasha Campbell
What drew you to the musical genres that you perform?

They are the rhythms that most fulfill me. They are very spiritual genres. The spiritual is something that is very rooted in me and it�s a very strong feature of black culture. When I design posters for my concerts I always add the phrase �Black music comes from within�. Which has something to do with my having listened to this type of music for as long as I can remember.

In the local music scene you always see artists participating in two or three bands at the same time. Why is this?

It�s a lack of commitment on the part of the artist, but I believe it also has to do with small audiences in the sense that you ensure that in between performances with one group, you will have other things to do. I play with a contracted band. It�s always the same musicians, but I know they play with other people on the side. The market doesn�t allow us to pay for their exclusive commitment right now, but as long as they don�t play what I�m playing, it�s not a problem. I, at least, try to continue by managing the exclusivity of my style. But it also has a lot to do with the lack of contracts that are out there for live performances.

Is the government doing anything to help the situation of local artists? 90% of this country�s artists don�t see the government as an ally. The opposite, in fact. In Costa Rica the budget for culture is non-existent. I feel that they don�t do anything. At festivals they book the same four bands they always do and leave it at that, thinking that this is enough.

What do Tico bands need in order to be taken more seriously on the international stage? Ticos don�t value the local. They are very focused on the foreign and what is ours has no worth. Any lousy band can come from overseas and people will pay 5000 colones without complaining, but if you charge them 2000 colones they�ll ask you what right you have to do that. It�s very difficult to get out and compete if you don�t even sell in your own country.

Does this have something to do with the quality of local musicians? The level of local musicians is really good, but if somebody from outside asks about local music they are told nothing better than to go and listen to so and so artist from Mexico. I believe that the people still have a lot to learn, to find out that local music isn�t always the same, and that it isn�t only about tropical rhythms.
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3.26 Copyright (C) 2008 / Copyright (C) 2007 Alain Georgette / Copyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved."

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