Festival international Nuits d’Afrique is bringing back one of its most popular performances Rhythms From the Woman’s Perspective

The performance will celebrate women within the African music scene

Flavia Nascimento, Chipo Niambiya, Meryem Saci and Carine au Micro are the four musicians that will take the stage for Rhythms From the Woman’s Perspective. Courtesy Festival international Nuits d’Afrique

Festival international Nuits d'Afrique, North America’s biggest African music festival, is bringing back one of their most popular performances, Rhythms From the Woman's Perspective, this Thursday, July 8. Four female musicians will be taking the stage together to share their diverse genres and lyrics. 

As COVID restrictions are easing on live music, musicians Meryem Saci, Chipo Niambiya, Carine au Micro and Flavia Nascimento are eager to perform live. They will take on one of the festival’s main concerts this Thursday, at 8 p.m. at Le National theatre. The four singers from Algeria, Zimbabwe, Benin, and Brazil respectively, will each be performing a 25-minute solo, then come together to perform nearing the event’s finale.

Rhythms From the Woman’s Perspective celebrates women’s presence in music, and how women balance traditional, cultural and contemporary sounds.

Carine au Micro is one of the four musicians who will take part in Rhythms From the Woman’s Perspective. Courtesy Festival international Nuits d’Afrique

Co-founder and managing director of Nuits d’Afrique festival, Suzanne Rousseau, mentioned how exciting it is to bring back one of the festival’s most popular events from the past. “We wanted a variety, a diversity of genres, so it’s really the diversity, and obviously [the singers] have talent as well,” said Rousseau.

“We are already blood, from motherhood, from being women, from sharing,” said Flavia Nascimento, a Brazilian singer-songwriter, as she explained the ease in working together with three other artists.

“[Working together] is something that is very easy. It does not matter if we speak four different languages, we achieve a female feeling that comes together and adapts,” said Nascimento.

Chipo Niambiya, another one of the women performing, does not let a contemporary beat stop her from playing traditional instruments. She plays a Mbira, a thumb piano that's been played in Africa for thousands of years. It’s an ancient instrument that is not receiving much attention from younger generations. “If we play it, it means we are going to preserve our culture,'' said Niambiya.

“We [women] always run after a space, but now, I am feeling that this is turning. There is an opening, and the space is ours. Women have a responsibility to take it. It is a pleasure to see these women in the scene,” said Nascimento.

It was obvious to me that my culture was to be put out there. Who else will do it if not me? — Carine au Micro

The event will highlight a diverse array of music genres such as folk, pop, jazz, Brazilian pop, gospel, hip hop, R&B, soul, rap and reggae, as well as a wide range of languages like Shona, Mina, Arabic, Portuguese, French and English.

Carine au Micro, a Benin-born performer, writes and sings her songs in Mina, her native tongue.

“Coming to Canada was a fresh start to me because this is where I decided which music style I really wanted to do,” she said. “It was obvious to me that my culture was to be put out there. Who else will do it if not me?” 

“Nuits d'Afrique is a festival that can value my music as it is African, and we don't have many other [festivals] that highlight the African heritage,” said Carine au Micro.

Rhythms From the Woman's Perspective welcomes anyone who has a joy for African music.