Thursday 30 June 2022
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Beninese all-girl crew makes you dance while they address themes of equality, empowerment and female genital mutilation

Out of the blue, a group of young girls from a remote region of Benin is shaking up the music world with breathtaking ingenuity and energy – and some much-needed messages!

Star Feminine Band consists of seven girls, aged from 10 to 17, and they are not your typical ‘girl group’. They sing about forced marriages and genital mutilation.

Despite the struggles they’ve experienced, their music is full of resilience and joy, a catchy universal language that shines a light and keeps a beat for a troubled world.

The group came together after they responded to a local radio station’s advert inviting girls to participate in a series of free music training sessions.

Their songs are an incredible combination of both languages and musical styles. They sing in Waama, Peul, Ditammari, Bariba, Fon and French – and their music takes in local Waama rhythms, Congolese rumba, highlife and Sierra Leonean bubu with a dash of psychedelia and rock.

In 2020, Star Feminine Band released its self-titled album, which contains eight songs of mood-enhancing medicine that will make your heart soar and your feet move. As 10-year-old Angélique from the band puts it: “When we play, everyone dances.”

Their music is a call for freedom for women and they are raising awareness about the need and duty to educate girls and allow them to become independent women.

This group of girls takes up Benin’s greatest star Angélique Kidjo’s baton as beacons of female empowerment, musical excellence and inextinguishable joy.