REVIVAL/50: I-Shea and Mamadou Ndiaye
REVIVAL/50 is a year-long digital performance series celebrating Augusta Savage Gallery's 50th Anniversary
YouTube premiere Friday, November 20, 2020 4:00 p.m. ET
Online Friday, November 20 through Thursday, November 26, 2020
I-Shea is a drummer/percussionist, emcee, singer/songwriter, dancer, theater, and teaching artist originally from the Bronx, NY. Self-named “The Original Jewminican,” (a Dominican and Jewish woman with an Arabic last name) she has taken her work to Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Senegal West Africa, and Jamaica continuing on her journey as a global citizen of the arts and the world. I-Shea joins forces with Mamadou Ndiaye, founding member and MC of West African hip-hop group, Gokh-Bi System, the Senegalese group that pioneered rap tassu, a mix of rap and tassu, a style of early hip-hop, which sounds like drumming and clapping against a chant. Ndiaye, a true visionary, weaves words, code-switching seamlessly and exciting the humanitarian impulses in his audiences.
I-Shea is an eclectic International ARTist (performing/recording/teaching artist), a Momma, a Thriver, an Advocate for social systemic change, a Humanitarian sharing space on this plane. Irene “I-SHEA” Shaikly has carved her way into various musical frames integrating her multicultural background in her music, style, and presentation. I-SHEA, who calls herself “The Original Jewminican,” (a Dominican and Jewish woman with an Arabic last name) is a global drummer/percussionist, emcee, singer/songwriter, dancer, theater, and teaching artist originally from the Bronx, NY. She has taken her work to Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Senegal West Africa, and Jamaica continuing on her journey as a global citizen of the arts and the world. Building connections and community through performance art, education, and organizing, her mission is to spread the movement of universal love and truth, to continue to inspire and motivate individuals to seek their highest authentic selves through storytelling, music, movement/dance, theater, and poetry. She is a member of Gokh bi system.
Mamadou Ndiaye is a founding member and MC of West African hip-hop group, Gokh-Bi System, which gave Guinaw Rails in Senegal, West Africa, a name in the music world when they pioneered rap tassu, a mix of rap and tassu, a style of early hip-hop, which sounds like drumming and clapping against a chant. Situated in a low-lying areas of the city, Guinaw Rails is devastated by annual floods, which destroy homes and stagnate, providing perfect breeding ground malaria mosquitos and a host of water-bourne diseases, taking hundreds of lives in the neighborhood each year. But growing up in Guinaw Rails was never viewed by the band as an excuse to fail or fall into patterns of violence and drug-use. “It was actually inspiration to become the voice of the neighborhood,” (Ndiaye) and an imperative to succeed and make a positive impact through their lyrics and music videos.
Since its creation has Gokh-bi has toured internationally and become one of the few African hip hop group to be featured on National Geographic, New York Times, VH1, BET, Link TV. They have toured and shared the stage with The Last Poets, Dead Prez, Michael Franti, Damian Marley, Kanye West, Angelique Kidjo. Aside from playing bigger venues, Gokh-Bi also dedicates a portion of its time to folk music festivals, like Bumbershoot, workshops at schools, and recording.
They have achieved a seemingly unattainable goal, given their circumstances. But living by the Wolof proverb, “Sama Sonu,” which translates, “Mine is yours,” Gokh-Bi remains dedicated to helping Guinaw Rails lift itself out of poverty. Their lyrics, written in four languages, Wolof, English, French, and Jola, are infused with a vehement call for peace, solidarity, and social justice. Ndiaye, a true visionary, weaves words, code-switching seamlessly, exciting the humanitarian impulses in his audiences. One beat, one heart, one love. Gokh-Bi lives the philosophies their music professes, making annual donations to local charities in Guinaw Rails, supporting schools, participating in development projects, and helping other young artists in GR to launch their careers. Mamadou has given workshops, served on panels, and given speeches at over 200 schools to date.