March 13, 2016 was a dark day in the Ivory Coast. The country, which was wowing the world with its recovery from the violence that rocked it following the 2010 elections, suffered a devastating terror attack that left 16 dead. It happened at the popular Grand-Bassam beach resort just outside the L’Etoile du Sud hotel when three heavily armed men, faces hidden behind balaclavas, opened fire on sunbathing civilians.
While the Cote d’Ivoire president and other leaders condemned the attacks and security forces made plans to bring the Al-Qaeda-affiliated operatives responsible to book, the country’s artists came together to hit back at the terrorists in the way they know best. 11 artists, under the name Collectif Bassam, composed a song to express their own rage and that of the peace-loving citizens of the Ivory Coast. The song, titled ‘Même pas peur’, raised a fist of defiance against the perpetrators of the attack, assuring them that they would not be cowed. It is also a brazen middle finger to terrorism as an ideal and a bold defense of the freedom of expression.
Besides being a strong message of solidarity against misguided religious zealots, the tune is a sumptuous fusion of hip hop and West Africa’s signature coupé-décalé music. Among the artists who lent their voices to the project are Abou Nidal, L’Enfant Siro and Paul Madys. They, along with other leading entertainers were brought together by Chico Lacoste, a producer and talent manager. “From the first hours following the attack we had wanted to bring together a few artists for a project that would help bring back the joy of life which the terrorists wanted to steal away,” he said.
This message is also conveyed by the video for Même pas peur which was shot at Grand Bassam. There is singing, dancing and love on the sands that were stained with innocent blood. You will notice the same message on the t-shirts worn by the musicians.
Take that you heartless cowards.
Miami Based, Internationally Known