Launched in 2013, Wired For Sound is a project involving a mobile studio that will travel through five of Mozambique's northern provinces to work with local musicians and give marginalised youth an opportunity to openly discuss their rights and other critical issues – both locally via community radio stations and internationally via social and traditional media. Created by Simon Attwell, a founding member of the band Freshlyground, the project is run in collaboration with the Forum of Community Radio Stations in Mozambique (FORCOM) and funded by the Open Society Institute for Southern Africa and the Open Society Foundations Youth Initiative and Media programme.
The project was conceived based on the idea that many people are excluded from any of the benefits of Mozambique’s soaring economy and continue to face a bleak future. This is especially true of the youth in the country's Northern provinces, who also battle to access information and to participate in debates about their concerns and their futures. The Wired For Sound project is designed to give Mozambican musicians a broader stage and bigger audience, but also to use music to help to break down some of the barriers that exist – that stop young Mozambicans from speaking out – and encourage them to express themselves publicly and powerfully on their most pressing issues.
The group will be traveling for six weeks with a fully professional, mobile recording and production studio. They will be able to stop at any point on their road trip and collect recordings of what young people are doing, saying, and creating, while also collaborating with local musicians. The mobile studio is intended to give an opportunity for young Mozambicans who may not have had the chance to publicly air their views or share their stories and ambitions to have their thoughts recorded and broadcast. It is also an opportunity to showcase some of the hidden musical talent in northern Mozambique, working with local artists to produce professionally-recorded material that can be aired on community stations – and hopefully internationally in future. The material will also be used for a radio documentary to be broadcast internationally.
Regular updates will be shared via social media. They intend to put up as much material as possible on Facebook, twitter, and instagram so that people can track the trip and learn more about the reality behind the 'Mozambique is booming' headlines.
The youth-centred debates will be aired on community radio, while also providing the stations with additional material, including musical recordings, documentaries, and interviews with young artists and individuals. As youth perspectives will be broadcast, the project will help the rest of the community, including community leaders and local politicians and officials, to understand what the key issues are and what the youth think should be done to address them. All the profits will be channelled back to the community stations in Mozambique to support their growth – and the development of local musical talent.
After the six-week trip, Wired for Sound will also professionally produce a small body of recorded songs and these will be made available for download on iTunes and amazon.com, as well as be featured on the music streaming service, Simfy Africa, and the recently established music synch agency, Synchronicity, which places music with pictures (TV adverts, movies, soundtracks, documentaries, premium products, apps and electronic media).
Forum of Community Radio Stations in Mozambique (FORCOM), Open Society Institute for Southern Africa (OSISA), and the Open Society Foundations' Youth Initiative and Media programme.
OSISA website on 26 September 2013.