Drake Music, in partnership with Unlimited (delivered by Shape and Artsadmin), are producing the UK tour, as part of their aim to embed work by disabled artists within the cultural sector, reach new audiences and shift perceptions of disabled people.
Billy Saga is one of the most authentic and combative MCs in Brazil to address disability and equal rights. Fusing elements of Hip Hop, Rock, Reggae, Dub and Samba, he explores wide-ranging ideas from international affairs, politics and relationships to technology and religion.
On this tour Saga will perform together with his online collaborators Kid Campbell, going from the studio to the stage in their UK debut, backed by the vocals of Jú Caldas.
As well as an energetic live show the musicians will be delivering workshops in Bristol, London & Gateshead, plus Billy Saga’s work will be exhibited in Glasgow as part of Unlimited Festival at Tramway.
William Coelho, better known as Billy Saga, is a rapper, publicist, artist, president of the NGO Movimento SuperAção, consultant at the NGO Mais Diferenças and advisor Ombudsman of the São Paulo State General Defence.
He is a three-time champion of ‘Sexta Free’ – Brazil’s Batalha Racional de Freestyle (Freestyle Battle) and one of the first disabled Brazilian artists to focus on De’VIA Art (deaf art).
His new album – As Ruas Estão Olhando (The Streets Are Watching) features BR2UK – one of the songs created during a musical exchange project developed in collaboration with the British DJ Mudfoot Blaps.
Saga’s work is a true modern ode to resilience, raising awareness of the disability rights and provoking reflection on the richness of differences, the importance of accessibility and the shared responsibility of tackling injustice. Saga’s fighting spirit is as ever present, in spite of deeply held pacifist beliefs.
On this tour Saga will perform together with his online collaborators Bristol based duo Kid Campbell, aka Dj Frenic and Digistep. Kid Campbell was formed when DJ Frenic (aka Sam Fergusson) and Digistep (aka Ben Glass) began to collaborate musically. Frenic, from the world of hip hop and Digistep from Bristol roots/dub outfit Dubkasm, joined forces and began to form a hybrid sound harnessing the raw essence of the two genres.
Unearthing cassette recordings of music created in his teenage years, Ben passed his tapes to Frenic who began to reinvent them. He began to sample the music bringing the grainy sounds back to life after twenty years of dusty hibernation.
Frenic has been a professional scratch DJ for 16 years, supporting household names such as Jurassic 5, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Afrika Bambaataa, Beatnuts and the Pharcyde. A local of Bristol, UK. His music production, influenced by the likes of DJ Shadow has brought international success, most notably in Greece where he leads the thriving beat scene. Producing tracks for locals and legends alike; recent projects have included beats for ASM and Marc7 of Jurassic 5 fame.
Digistep’s long term project, Dubkasm is one of the top dub outfits in the international roots reggae scene, working as a duo with fellow Bristolian DJ Stryda. Since forming in 1994 they established their own record label in 2003 and have released 28 vinyl discs. Their live Dub show incorporates Ben’s live sax and elements of soundsystem culture with as a vinyl and dubplate-only set.
He has performed with Dubkasm in over 20 European countries as well as in New York, Brazil, Russia and as far as Siberia. Their hit single Victory became recognised as the biggest selling roots record of the decade, later to be remixed by UK dubstep legend Mala.
Ben was captivated by music technology at ten years old when he taught himself to program a Yamaha DX11 synth. Aside from Production he works at Drake Music with disabled musicians, teaching with accessible music tech and pioneering the world’s first accessible BTEC in Music Technology for people who face physically disabling barriers.
This is the first UK tour of Billy Saga, produced by Drake Music for Unlimited. He will perform and run workshops in London, Bristol and Gateshead.
3 September – Liberty Festival, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London
7 Sept – DM Collaborate free workshop at Furtherfield, London
9 September – Beautiful Octopus Club Festival at Southbank Centre #BOCFest
16 September – Bristol, Colston Hall Foyer, 6pm
18 September – Sage Gateshead
Workshops to be delivered in all 3 cities with local groups of disabled musicians & artists
Exhibition: 15 – 25 September- Tramway Glasgow are exhibiting a Billy Saga music video as part of their Unlimited Festival programme.
Delivered in partnership with Drake Music, leaders in music, disability and technology and supported by Unlimited (delivered by Shape and Artsadmin); celebrating the work of disabled artists, using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England with additional funds from the British Council, Arts Council of Wales, Creative Scotland and Spirit of 2012.
Unlimited aims to embed work by disabled artists within the cultural sector, reach new audiences and shift perceptions of disabled people.
Unlimited received an Ambitions of Excellence Award from Arts Council England to build a three-year international programme in partnership with British Council – Unlimited International.
This programme will extend the global impact of Unlimited by co-commissioning extraordinary English and international disabled artists to further transform the cultural sector worldwide in relation to access and equality.