It is a beautiful story and a breath of fresh air born from the imagination of a music teacher in the city of Natitingou, in the North-East of Benin.
The idea of the multi-instrumentalist André Balaguemon was to launch a music school open only to young girls. The group is made of only seven girls aged between 11 to 18.
This project has quickly crossed borders and continents. The Feminine Star Band is currently touring Europe and is already preparing its second album at the prestigious French label Born Bad Records founded by Jean-Baptiste Guillot
“Groups of instrumentalist girls in Africa are extremely rare. In general, they are confined to the role of backing singers or dancers To come across a group of girls like that, who all played and excelled in their instrument it’s completely difficult and deemed impossible,” said Jean-Baptiste Guillot, founder of Born Bad Records.
Marguerite, Julienne, Bénie, Sandrine, Anne, Urrice and Grace survive only on music. They all play several instruments, dance, sing in Bariba, in Fongbe in French. Their music breathes freedom and carries strong messages.
“We want to travel to the world to show them that women have rights that must be respected and that we must really love them and help them to become great personalities,” said Sandrine, a singer and percussionist.
“We also want to defend the right of children because they are not an object with which we can do what we want. We are- here to defend the right of the woman, the right of the child and we are going to go till the end with these two themes,” said Urice, a singer and percussionist.
They hope their mission will be possible in the future where the rights of women and children will be respected. The Féminine Star Band has impressed different crowds during their first European concerts. They brought a wind of freedom and place their worries behind them.