Musicians with global influences raised awareness about social issues through music at the Global Sounds Music Festival on Saturday.
The Missouri Students Association hosted the event in Heinkel Building parking lot, opposite Peace Park.
Some of the musicians who performed at the festival included The Elders from Ireland, Stef Lang from Canada and DJ Rekha from India. The focus of the event was sustainability, social justice and awareness.
The Elders is a group based out of Kansas City. The band’s lead singer Ian Byrne said he formed the group because of the need for Irish music in Midwestern culture.
“The theme of awareness is the most appropriate for our band to connect with, because we speak about fighting against corrupt governments in our songs and standing against that injustice,” Byrne said. “When we get those elements together, we can inspire positive thinking for all involved, which is always good.”
Stef Lang is a Canadian pop artist who has been in the industry for five years. Her song “Diamonds” was featured in the TV show "Degrassi."
Lang said she does not necessarily focus on happy topics, but the realistic themes in her music make audiences listen.
“My music comes from an honest, true place where everyone can relate to it,” Lang said. “The honesty comes from somewhere where you can exude your own self in the music without judgment.”
Freshman Kelly Hebron, who was a fan of Lang and The Elders, felt the idea of putting both acts in the same show together was a good way for the Columbia community to experience different cultures. She said the event raised awareness about these genres and the issues spoken through the songs.
“I grew up listening to Irish music, but I’ve never gotten to see it in a setting like this,” Hebron said. “It gives me the opportunity not to just see The Elders but other artists so I can see outside of the college bubble and see what is happening in other areas of life, which is an important part of learning. ”
As an independent artist, Lang did not mind the smaller crowd, as long as she could express herself and not be restrained by people’s expectations for her.
“This can be a gratifying experience, but when it became a business, I learned that people will try to take advantage of you,” Lang said. “I would tell people to stay true to what they believe in and honestly to not give a shit what they think.”