It’s via the track “Rew Be Me” that these young Beninese girls, aged between 10 and 17, have chosen to announce the release of their first eponymous album.
Between 10 and 17 years old, these girls are already real stars on the brink of an international career! This women’s orchestra, founded by André Balaguemon, should soon be performing in Europe, notably at the Trans Musicales in Rennes, France. But who are they exactly? Star Feminine Band is a group of female students who defy the weight of tradition in the north of Benin with an original mix of garage rock, psychedelia, highlife and Congolese rumba, proving that they know how to play music just as well as men.
The group came together after a call from the local radio station Nanto FM, which offered the opportunity of taking part in a series of musical workshops led by André Balaguemon. With no previous experience necessary, they had never touched an electric guitar, drums or a microphone before. Their repertoire centralizes daily struggles and themes of equality, empowerment, the pressures of forced marriage and female genital mutilation. These issues are expressed in French as well as in local languages such as Waama and Ditamari. By giving these students access to music learning, Benin reveals its potential to conquer an international audience, proud to see young women mastering their instruments and developing real virtuosity. One day, they will become the conductors of tomorrow’s generation, proud to carry this heritage forward.
Star Feminine Band’s album is available via Born Bad.