FolkWorld #73 11/2020


Womex @ FROG

Living Locally, Connecting Globally

The 26th edition and the first-ever digital event of WOMEX — produced by Piranha Arts together with the local Hungarian partner, Hangvető — hosted a virtual programme of meetings, conferences, showcases and films which has just ended after 5 intense days. As with every year, the WOMEX Awards celebrated the extraordinary artists and professionals from our community and their exceptional achievements in global music on the international level. Since 1999, the impressive list continues to grow and with the 2020 edition, we are proud to announce two more recipients of both the Artist and the Professional Excellence Award.

Artist Award

The Artist award recognises the achievements of an individual artist or a musical group, and celebrates those who excel in the mastery of musical craft, who embody artistic distinction, dynamism and creativity, who use music as a medium of positive change, and offer a unique and committed vision.

For 2020, the Artist Award goes to: Mónika Lakatos.


Artist Video Romengo @ FROG

Within Hungary, the Olah Romani are a minority of a minority, with only around 30,000 people still practising their language and way of life. Mónika has her roots in Nagyecsed, a village at the heart of the Olah community in north-eastern Hungary famous for its music. With music and songs all around her, she has been singing for as long as she can remember, allowing her to imbue her own work with heartfelt emotion.

It is for her commitment to the Olah people and their music, for her mission to ensure that female Romani voices can be heard on the world stage and for her highest personal artistry as a performer that Mónika Lakatos is presented with the WOMEX 20 Artist Award.


Artist Video

On receiving the prestigious award at the 26th edition of WOMEX, Mónika Lakatos shared: “Receiving the WOMEX 20 Artist Award, of course, is a big honour. It is an enormous joy to know that WOMEX thought of me, of us, because this Award represents all of us. Our work is a joint work! People do not see how much work goes behind what we do and how many people are working on this cause. This Award is ours - including my husband Mazsi and all of the bands and the community - together!"

Professional Excellence Award

The Professional Excellence award honours exceptional achievements of an individual, group or an organisation in music. Musical excellence, cultural significance, advocacy and activism, lifetime achievement and a commercial success without compromise are all elements that may determine the Award Recipient.

The 2020 Professional Excellence Award goes to: L’Atelier des Artistes en Exil.

The mission statement for L’Atelier des Artistes en Exil – the Agency of Artists in Exile – contains a particularly powerful phrase: ‘being a refugee is not a profession.’ People in exile are not defined by their exile. When people leave their homes to flee instability, war or persecution, they do not leave their humanity behind, nor their experiences or their skills. When artists leave their homes, they remain artists.

Judith Depaule, director, L’Atelier des Artistes en Exil, shared a few sentences with us on behalf of her team. "It is important for aa-e to gain recognition beyond French borders, especially for exiled artists who suffer mobility problems. The WOMEX 20 Award will benefit the members of aa-e in their restructuring by offering them new professionals opportunities."

WOMEX 20 Went Digital

Monsieur Doumani

This Digital Edition, the first of its kind, proved that it is possible to connect and network globally, amidst lockdowns, from the comfort of our homes and spaces. This edition concluded with more than 1130 registered participants from 90 countries, hosted 38 jury-selected showcase artists representing 40 countries, 21 music-based documentaries from 21 countries, 23 conference sessions, mentoring opportunities with 7 experts including 3 roundtable and 4 one-to-one mentoring sessions, 8 network meetings and 147 video stands.

In digital terms — this edition streamed 70 hours of online content consisting of 20 hours of conference sessions, 8 hours of network meetings, 4 hours of mentoring, 18 hours of films, 20 hours of virtual showcases including the artist interviews, and last but not the least, over 20,000 interactions between delegates on the official networking channel on MatterMost. As a part of this year's registration, all the delegates can re-stream the conference programme and the virtual showcases via the new 'On-demand' section on the virtualWOMEX platform.

Eight weeks ago as the news and the consequences of border closing and national lockdowns rolled in from Budapest, Hungary, the prospect of operating a digital-only event this year seemed inevitable. The digital transformation of WOMEX, enabled the delegates to network from around the world, round the clock, and to conduct business on a global scale while making new connections. The digital edition also allowed comfortable and seamless transitions between conference sessions, network meetings, mentoring, streaming films and networking. We travelled to a lo-fi concert on the streets of Malawi, the rooftops of Mexico City and Lisbon, the courtyard of the Tekfur Palace in Istanbul, studios in Tel Aviv, Reykjavik, Real World Studios in the UK and joined our local partners in Müpa Budapest to watch some live Showcases and Conference sessions.

WOMEX Partners With Native Instruments For Metapop Remix Competition

For the first time, WOMEX has teamed up with the Berlin-based Native Instruments, a leading manufacturer of software and hardware for computer-based audio production and DJing, to offer a unique remix opportunity via their online music community platform Metapop. Music producers of all levels and genres from across the world can submit a remix in full or parts (stems) of the songs of nine featured WOMEX 20 Jury-selected artists to win grand music production packs as prizes.

Until Wednesday 13 January 2021, music producers will have an exclusive opportunity to get creative, mix-match, mash-up, reproduce or re-interpret music of the nine featured artists and show the world their production talent. Participation in this competition is free-of-cost and open to all by registering on Metapop website. The top 3 winners for this remix competition will be selected by New York based Wonderwheel Records founder, prolific producer and WOMEX 20 Club Summit artist, Nickodemus. The Grand Prize includes Komplete 13 Ultimate Collector's Edition along with WOMEX 21 Porto edition registration worth 1,800 EUR approx., for Runner up one Komplete 13 Ultimate worth 1,100 EUR approx. and for the Third Place one Komplete 13 worth 580 EUR approx.

Yorkston Thorne Kahn

The nine featured WOMEX 20 Jury-selected artists that can be remixed are:

Link to the official contest page to download track stems and upload remixes.

Metapop, powered by Native Instruments is a global platform where music-makers, DJs and producers of all levels share, connect, collaborate, learn, and challenge each other to grow musically. Till date, Metapop has hosted over 200 remix competitions in collaboration with various artists including Carl Craig, Flume, Kamaal Williams, Grimes, Jacques Greene and their ever-growing community has uploaded over 150,000 tracks.

Photo Credits: (1) WOMEX - The World Music Expo, (2)-(3) Romengo (ft. Mónika Lakatos), (4) Monsieur Doumani, (5) Yorkston Thorne Kahn (unknown/website).

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