The first artists are ready for Oslo Mela 2024

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Legendary pop star Sajjad Ali, supergroup Les Amazones d'Afrique, experimental jazz artist Sarathy Korwar, charismatic rapper Sampa the Great and innovative qawwali Zain Zohaib at Oslo Mela this summer. This year's festival will be held from August 16 to 18 at Rådhusplassen.

Read about the artists here:


Sajjad Ali

- Innovative and experimental pop music

It's probably not entirely wrong to describe Sajjad Ali as one of Pakistan's most legendary pop singers. Throughout his 45-year career, he has always been able to experiment and renew his musical expression and is perhaps even more relevant today than when he made his debut as a semi-classical singer at the age of 13.

Sajjad Ali comes from a family of performers, and is himself an actor, director and producer alongside his pop career. In 1979 he made his debut with the album "Master Sajjad sings Memorable Classics" and achieved widespread recognition among both artists and adult audiences. In 1983 he had the opportunity to perform at the PTV Silver Jubilee show and this was the start of his formidable pop career, and his 1993 hit Babia, combining pop and hip hop rhythms, secured him stardom.

Sajjad Ali's unique combination of classically trained vocals and catchy pop melodies appeals to a wide audience, and the audience can look forward to a unique hit parade at Rådhusplassen this summer.


The Amazons of Africa

- Supergroup that combines rhythms and harmonies with social protests

Founded in Mali, Les Amazones d' Afrique has evolved into a source of bubbling creativity, soulful music and social protest, as well as a musical collective setting a new agenda for female musicians in Africa and the African diaspora.

The group was formed ten years ago by renowned artists Mamani Keïta, Oumou Sangaré and Mariam Doumbia with the aim of giving voice and opportunity to African women and creating a better gender balance in cultural life.

Their clear social message is lifted by strong vocal harmonies and an infectious pan-African music that combines traditional music forms with modern pop and electronic rhythms and the kongotronix style. On their latest album "Musow Danse" they have enlisted the help of producer Jacknife Lee (U2, Modest Mouse, Taylor Swift) to create a sound inspired by modern hip hop, trap and electronica.


Sampa the Great

- Charismatic and fearless rap

With his charismatic blend of hip-hop, soul and afrobeat, interspersed with elements of both jazz and zamrock, Sampa the Great has established himself as a compelling and outspoken rapper who transcends both genres and expectations.

Born in Zambia, raised in Botswana and living in both the US and Australia, Sampa the Great's reflections on her own history, identity and roots are central to her music. She debuted with the album "The Return" in 2019 and in 2022 came the follow-up "As Above, So Below", which she recorded in Zambia during the pandemic. Here, the contribution of local producers and musicians, as well as guest appearances from Angelique Kidjo and others, helped her to further expand her musical references and creativity.

Rapping in English, the Bantu language Bemba and using South African slang to enhance his honest lyrics and intuitive storytelling, Sampa the Great is at the forefront of a new generation of artists exploring the possibilities of their cultural and artistic roots.


Sarathy Korwar

- Experimental jazz with political overtones and undertones

Since making his debut in 2016, tabla player and percussionist Sarathy Korwar has established himself as one of the most original voices in the UK's exploratory jazz scene with his uncompromising and groundbreaking rhythms.

Born in the US, Korwar grew up in India and eventually moved to London to pursue music. He has studied both tabla and western drums, fusing these into a sound that draws inspiration from everything from Southeast Asian ragas, avant garde hip hop, dub and contemporary jazz. He has collaborated with artists such as Shabaka Hutchings, Arun Ghosh and Anoushka Shankar, and toured with Kamasi Washington, Yussef Kamaal and Moses Boyd. He has also initiated the UPAJ Collective, where Southeast Asian jazz and classical musicians come together through a shared love of the creative spark that arises through collaboration and improvisation.

The political also plays an important role in his musical project, as exemplified by the concept album Kalak from 2022, where Korwar uses music to create an anti-fascist and anti-colonialist musical manifesto.


Zain Zohaib

- Qawwali's heirs and innovators

Zain Zohaib belongs to the new generation of qawwalis who use classical music as a base, but who add different genres, instruments and technology to create a unique sound.

Zain Zohaib is the youngest qawwali addition to the subcontinent, and it's no understatement to say that the pair of brothers have absorbed qawwali with their mother's milk. They are the grandchildren of Ustad Haji Rehmat Ali Khan, who played alongside Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan for 40 years. The brothers carry on the legacy of their grandfather with rich qawwali tones and captivating performances, which both their performances of the compositions "Haiderium" at Nescafé Basement and "Thagyan" at Coke Studio are good examples of.

As a new generation of qawwalis, they are able to continue the genre, but also to challenge and renew it, and they use electric guitar, bass and synth in their music - with wide recognition from both audiences and fellow artists.

Published April 25, 2024