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Cultural Vibrations

17 May 11 words: Paul Klotschkow
Rastarella Farade is the founder of Cultural Vibrations which seeks to unite cultures through music
Rastarella Falade
Rastarella Falade from Cultural Vibrations

Rastarella Falade conceived the not-for-profit organisation Cultural Vibrations in 2009 when she was asked to organise an event as part of the Hockley Hustle. Since then, her and her organisation have been involved in various events around the city including this year's NEAT11...

Hello, how are you?
I’m doing great thanks!

How did Cultural Vibrations start and what does the organisation do?
Cultural Vibrations was created on a whim in the summer of 2009. I was on Facebook networking my husband’s homemade Caribbean ice-cream which lead to me befriending Adam Pickering who mentioned we could have a stall at his festival, The Hockley Hustle. He then came over to my house and we fed him some curried mutton and rice & peas plus the ice-cream. He then said that he did not have an Afro-Caribbean venue for the hustle and asked if I knew anyone who would be able to host the event. I had not even organized a children’s party before but decided to put my self up for it. I was then asked to create a name that would represent my event at the hustle. I decided on ‘Cultural Vibrations’ as my aim was to unite lots of different cultures together through music thus creating lots of positive vibrations.

Are you from Nottingham originally?
No, I am from the beautiful Caribbean Islands of Trinidad & Tobago. My mother migrated to the UK in the late 80’s and brought us along to a little town just outside Nottingham called Newark upon Trent. To say it was a huge culture shock would be a slight understatement. It was not pretty growing up there. When I turned 16 I enrolled in a performing arts course at the then Clarendon College. I have also lived in Scotland and Finland, but I have been settled in Nottingham since 2000.

How did you get involved in NEAT11?
I was approached by the Playhouse to ask if I would like to get involved in the festival and provide live music, they asked me this late last year and straight away I said yes. In 2010 I was involved in promoting the hit Jimmy Cliff musical The Harder They Come, which ran at the Playhouse for eight nights last May; I was asked to be a judge during a music competition to find local artists to perform at the beginning of each show. That was a huge success, so I was really pleased to be asked to be involved in the NEAT11 Festival this year.

What have you organised as part of NEAT11?
Under my Cultural Vibrations (Unity Through Music) banner I will be showcasing the talents of World Music band MuHa (June 7th), Folk/Ska singer songwriter Liam O’Kane (May 31st), Soul/Reggae singer songwriter Jamaican born Marvin Brown (June 2nd) and Urban R&B Singer/Songwriter Mique (June 9th). My four nights will be held in the Playroom right above the CAST Restaurant at Nottingham Playhouse. It's a 100 seater venue.

I choose MuHa because I think they are a fantastically unique world band, I have seen them live many times and I really enjoy the variety of the different cultures and musical influences they bring to the stage. MuHa is lead by Ukrainian born singer Iryna, she sings in a mixture of Russian and also Hindi.

Liam O’Kane was someone I first noticed in 2009 during a ‘Love Music, Hate Racism’ concert that I was asked to put forward an artist to be involved. I saw Liam on stage with his band Jimmy The Squirrel and I just thought they sounded so fresh and I loved their reggae/ska undertones. Since then the band have played at quite a few of my events, so it was just a natural choice to ask Liam if he would like to be part of my line-up.

Marvin Brown is an upcoming rising star who has the most amazing range of styles. His voice reminds me of the Motown era where there were no musical gimmicks involved, just pure smooth vocals. He is quite well known in the reggae/dancehall circuit, but will be showcasing what he does best with a fantastic acoustic soul/smooth reggae set during the NEAT11 festival.

Mique is a beautifully pure R&B Soul singer. I first noticed her during her time as part of the Gang Of Angels choir way back in 2009. She then decided to become a soloist and also writes her own material. She has one of those voices that no matter how many times I have heard her perform, it always feels like the first time. Her voice and lyrics commands attention and once heard will never be forgotten. Amazing talent!

Why did you choose these artists?
I choose the above musicians to take part because I truly believe their voices and talents need to be heard by new audiences, and I hope to open a few eyes and ears here in Nottingham. I am hoping that the theatre lovers will be able to enjoy local live music and that the music lovers will be able to enjoy international theatre.

Why should people go and watch the NEAT11 events?
I think people should check out the NEAT11 Festival as this is the first time the festival has ever been in Nottingham, the plays are coming from all over Europe and also the world, there will be something for everyone including children. There are also free events happening, so there really is no reason not to be involved. The festival is happening at various venues and locations including the Nottingham Contemporary, New Arts Exchange, Lakeside, Galleries of Justice, Nottingham Castle, Nottingham Forest City Ground, Broadway Cinema, Theatre Royal and The Polish Eagle Club

Aside from your own gigs, is there anything else taking place at NEAT11 that you want to go and see?
I will definitely be checking out The Crossing by Esther O’Toole, which is a play about three Ghanaian men who travel thousands of miles across Africa in search of the new world (New Arts Exchange). I am also looking forward in watching Chekhov’s Three Sisters, which will be performed in Russian with English Subtitles and I am going to check out the Mouthy Poets performance at Nottingham Playhouse.

You have been involved in other large Nottingham events in the past such as the Hockley Hustle, can you tell us about them?
I have been involved in the Hockley Hustle since 2009 and again last year. The venue I host Cultural Vibrations at is Cape Bar. I try and have succeeded in putting together line-ups that reflect the diversity of live music that is black influenced or world based. I was also asked to host the last night of live music last year at Nottingham Riviera, which was a huge success. I provided live music from 4.30pm to midnight.

Last year I also took part in the Oxjam Nottingham Takeover which took place on Canning Circus. Also I hold and fund my own events; last December I created and hosted Nottingham’s first World Aids Day Awareness concert, which happened at Nottingham Contemporary. I raised £185 for Terrence Higgins trust Nottingham, which considering it was  minus five degrees and we were snowed in, was pretty impressive. This year I will be the events organiser for Nottingham Word Aids Day Institute as they were impressed with what I managed to create on my own last year with my show.

I have also held music fundraisers for Nottingham Refugee Forum. I choose them to raise money for because there are so many different cultures that are affected by asylum and war, plus they do a great job here in Nottingham helping the less fortunate.

I also hold an annual family event I call Unity Nottingham. This event brings all my friends together so that they can become friends. This year I had belly dancing, tribal drumming, Capoeira and Kizomba workshops. I also had live music and speed networking. As you can tell I am passionate about Cultural Unity!

What music coming out of Nottingham are you enjoying at the moment?
I am loving the sounds of the Breadchasers, Jimmy the Squirrel, singer songwriter Elena Hargreaves, young duo Saint Raymond, Angolan Afro-Funk live band Kambasemba and legendary Nottingham Roots reggae singer Percy Dread.

What do you like to do on a night out in Nottingham?
I love to check out live music especially open-mic nights, I always enjoy going to The Maze as they are a friendly welcoming bunch of people, I also enjoy going to stand-up comedy nights and generally supporting as many local live music events as I can fit in, inbetween being a wife and mother of three!

What does the future hold for Cultural Vibrations?
I would love to see Cultural Vibrations( Unity Through Music) events in different cities around the UK, lead by local promoters with the same vision as I - to unite people through music. I would love to have my own festival one day or stages at big outdoor events. I would also like to put on a big Cultural Vibrations live music showcase at a big theatre, putting on lots of different genres of music so that many people can come together and unite. I have used Facebook to my full advantage and currently have approx 12K members throughout my three pages.

Any final words for the LeftLion readers?
Really some words to your readers and also other promoters, I think Nottingham is sitting on some amazing talent and we all need to go out there and show support towards our local musicians. To other promoters I want to ask for us to collaborate together more, thus bringing in different crowds and in turn creating a greater sense of community in Nottingham City. Remember Unity is easy when we look within, not at the skin. One Love.


NEAT11 music events include The Electronic Exchange on Monday 30th May; Liam O'Kane on Tuesday 31st May; Marvin Brown on Thursday 2nd June; Muha on Tuesday 7th June and Mique on Thursday 9th June.

Cultural Vibrations website

Cultural Vibrations Facebook

Read all of our NEAT11 festival coverage



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