Words by David Cooper. Video Edited by Shavar Dawkins (Influence Media).
Burlington, Vermont based African musical group A2VT debuted their latest single with a music video called, “Ghetto.”
The song laments the plight of refugees worldwide, who leave behind the turmoil of their homeland for a better life in the West, only to find the grass not necessarily greener there, while at the same time being grateful for the hospitality. “Born in a ghetto, raised in a ghetto, come to America, still feeling ghetto,” sings Jilib. “That’s a common experience we have. We leave behind our poverty-stricken country in Africa, only to also find great poverty when we arrive here. It’s a shocking surprise compared to what we were taught about life in America.”
The video finds founding members Jilib and MG Man collaborating with five dancers, all who have come to the U.S. as refugees from several war-torn African nations. “We have been rediscovering our musical and cultural roots, yet with a very modern twist,” says MG Man, regarding the pumping electronic track that underlies the vocals, which are sung in English, Swahili and Maay Maay (Somali Bantu language).
The video was filmed in and around Burlington and Winooski, with an extensive indoor shoot at Talent Skatepark, featuring numerous local skateboarders, including Collin Hale.
A2VT are Jilib (Somalia), MG Man (Tanzania), with dancers Li’l B, Lu Swag, Prince Liv, Dogo Janja and Eric Barigiego. Additional information can be found at www.A2VT.com or email David Cooper, A2VTmusic@gmail.com
A2VT: Jilib (English, Maay Maay), MG Man (Swahili, English)
Special Guest: Li’l B
Dancers: Lu Swag, Prince Liv, Dogo Janja, Eric Barigiego.
Skateboarders: Collin Hale, James Ford, Cody Ly, Brendan Ly, Russell Looby, Alex Weiss, Jaron Thibault, Andrew Mindell, Sheamus Morrisey, Johnathan Townsend, Mikey & Tristan Delaportas, Axel, Ivan, Levi, Vera & Lisa Glenney, Joey Handy, Horace Williams, Ian & Myles Rossi.
Filmed at Talent Skatepark, Andy A-dog Skatepark and on location in beautiful Burlington and Winooski, Vermont.
Edited by Shavar Dawkins (Influence Media)
Song recorded at Creamy Goodness Studio, Burlington, VT. Produced by David Cooper.
A-dog artwork by Jozie Furchgott-Sourdiffe
Special team thanks: Hannah Deene Wood, Ben Bergstein, Ken French, Ahmed Kush, Vermont Community Foundation, Vermont Folklife Center.