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Essakane Film is the story of the most remote music festival in the world

Featured, News Feb 12, 2011 No Comments

Check out their site for more information!

Read about the Essakane, the film at Here is a quote from the website, “Essakane Film is a feature length documentary film about the most remote music festival in the world—the Festival au Désert—and the battle to make it happen. Once a year, just outside of Timbuktu in the sand dunes of the Sahara, a music festival that serves to sustain peace and resolve regional conflict rocks the socks off an audience of thousands for three days straight. From Robert Plant to Jimmy Buffett, musicians from around the world have journeyed through the mystical terrain of the Sahara to jam with Malian, Tuareg, and West African musicians at the Festival au Désert.

As a homegrown approach to sustanning peace, democracy, and for developing tourism in Mali, the festival has brought significant cultural awareness and economic development to the local communities in the region and the tourism sector in Mali. But sadly, over the past few years, security warnings issued by Western governments have increased, affecting the attendance at the festival and threatening its viability. But that will not stop the festival organizers, the community, and the musicians who rock the stage from putting on another great show in 2011.”

Difrent Launch Party-Music: a Forum of Inspiration

Featured, News Nov 01, 2010 No Comments

To me is a forum to connect. To connect with others who feel the way I feel. We don’t have to agree, but the idea that things could be different and that if they were things might be better. The launch party was a great reminder for me that difrent is also about the music. The power of music to condense a message and transmit it across cultures and generations. It reminded me how important the messages we send out are. I feel so privileged to get to work with some great artists who are sensitive to the messages they release to the world.

The concert opened with Stephan Said viral hit “The Bell” and continued with some of his other amazing songs like his new single , “Take a Stand”, which transmit a message of hope and community. He mixed English, French and Arabic, reminding us that warmth and peace exists in all cultures in an effective transmission of love from the Middle East. The concert broke the standard structure of sets, interweaving Stephan’s rock, the big band sound of the Saturday Night Live horns, African drumming, Morley’s vocal styling’s, and freestyleings of Blitz the Ambassador in both English and his native tongue.

One of the most moving parts of the concert for me was when Morley sang her song “Women of Hope” which quotes Aung San Suu Kyi’s recommendation “if you are feeling helpless help someone.” I remembered that there are messages of empowerment out there, instructions for how to make our world better. I feel very privileged to have received such a moving reference which will be a continuing source of inspiration and I work for human rights and advocacy. Another reminder that music inspires change and gives us tools to understand and describe our world.

Bliz the Ambassador, who is featured in our music/video page, freestyled with the band and Stephan and really got everyone engaged. He wowed everyone with his positive message and great showmanship. He also performed his song “something to believe in” with great interaction with the band, conducting fanfare and rock sounds into a cohesive backdrop to his hip hop vocals. He stayed on stage, adding percussion, to Stephan’s closing song “Love on High” a final reminder that songs can world changing with simple, down-to-earth messages about love and human connection.

The concert was magnificent, with messages of love, inspiration, and peace. I’m indebted to all the artists for their work. I feel a renewed commitment to the power of music and the power of difrent. I can’t wait to see the submissions for the video contest for the “Take a Stand” video . More information is available on the difrent YouTube channel. I’m sure I’ll be even more inspired and reminded of the power of creativity and global youth.”