translating music cultures. Daniel Fernando Wahl (DAFERWA) talks LusAfro

Daniel Fernando Wahl aka DAFERWA was part of the project since it´s first phase in Praia, Cabo Verde. As an experienced promoter, producer, freelancing radio journalist & DJ himself he worked in several areas of the project. His most public role though was his job as a host during the live shows played by the LusAfro artists. Due to the great diversity of the musical performances he offered himself to guide through the concerts.

As he is fluent in Portuguese, German, English & advancing rapidly with his Cape Verdean Creole 😉 he would act as a translator between the artists, the team and not to forget the public audience to which he contextualised the show, the project and the idea of LusAfro.

How would you describe the project LusAfro in 1 sentence?

LusAfro is an interactive project that focuses on the exchange of culture and music between open minded music producers: artists from Germany and lusophone african countries.

Can you talk a bit about the dynamics of the 2nd Phase in Cologne and at Odyssee Festival?

After the first phase of LusAfro in Praia the ice in between the participants was broken. I felt that the confidence which had grown within the 10 days in Praia let the artists fully concentrate on the musical side of the project in Germany. This flow and spontaneous musical energy was definitely hold together by the 3 musicians who weren’t there in Praia during the first phase. Also I could feel that for a lot of the African Artists being in German for the first time got them hyped and encouraged to represent their countries in the best way. Although the Cape Verdean people outnumbered the rest of the group and dominated the musical influence of LusAfro, I guess the fact that being outside of the own „comfort zone“ – no matter where from, which musical profile or fame – lead to a greater artistic and musical vibes during the preparation and the realization of the showcase at the Odyssee Festival.

You worked as moderator & translater during the live shows and also as kind of a connecting piece between artists? What do you feel is your role in the project or more specifically during the life shows?

Fun fact: I lost my „host-virginity“ in Praia. It’s no secret that I like to talk. In Praia my Portuguese-skills pushed me into the role of the translator and communicator between some of the participants. I ended up speaking to everybody, getting involved in what they were working on etc.

I almost lost my voice. I’m used to get on stages because I’m a DJ, the difference here: I let the music speak. So, not being one of the artists but the guy who speaks about them and introduces them, was something new to me. The positive personal feedback I got from different participants encouraged me to be me on stage. I’m a happy person and a salesman by DNA. This is something that helps you when it comes to entertain people. In Praia I had to freestyle while the artist where fixing technical issues or simply were on their way to the stage. Just keep the attention of the huge public without getting silly or talking bullshit. In the end people want to listen to the music. In Germany we had the band to glue it all together, so my job was way easier.

The LusAfro vibe is like a mosaic composed by every participant’s energy. I try to give the public my energy and gather people’s attention before the music starts. But also make sure that people give it up for the artists who share their music and love in the name of a unique ceremony of togetherness.

July 2017 Odyssee Hagen – Photo by Cosmo / Wdr Sandra Krosa

What can a project like LusAfro do for artists?

Projects like LusAfro can definitely help artists to grow, culturally and musically. In this kind of encounters they get to know each other on different levels. They learn from each other’s experience and create hubs that often go beyond the projects limits. Time is certainly the most limiting factor in this kind of exchange and creativity is nothing you can plan.

But once you hear what artists are from different music-spheres can create and put together there is no doubt that the future of contemporary music (in our globalized world) lies in this kind of international collaborations.

Check out his work as a DJ  and one of his projects, the popular global music party Mash It Up! in Cologne, Germany.

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