Eclectic music rarely heard in Singapore

Ms Dany Inthaxoum (above) is the director at Figure8 Agency, which brought acts such as Tinariwen (right), a Grammy Award-winning group of Tuareg musicians from the Sahara Desert, to Singapore.
Ms Dany Inthaxoum is the director at Figure8 Agency, which brought acts such as Tinariwen (above), a Grammy Award-winning group of Tuareg musicians from the Sahara Desert, to Singapore.PHOTO: XAVIER MARLE
Ms Dany Inthaxoum (above) is the director at Figure8 Agency, which brought acts such as Tinariwen (right), a Grammy Award-winning group of Tuareg musicians from the Sahara Desert, to Singapore.
Ms Dany Inthaxoum (above) is the director at Figure8 Agency, which brought acts such as Tinariwen, a Grammy Award-winning group of Tuareg musicians from the Sahara Desert, to Singapore.PHOTO: FIGURE8 AGENCY

FIGURE8 AGENCY

Since its inception in 2011, Figure8 Agency has brought in an eclectic mix of acts from French electronic music duo Justice to Tinariwen, a Grammy Award-winning group of Tuareg musicians from the Sahara Desert.

The agency, which does artist bookings, concert productions and music consulting, was started by Ms Dona Inthaxoum, 34, and two friends from the music industry. Ms Inthaxoum's twin sister Dany joined later as a director.

The group, whose members are all French, started doing shows here because it thought "there were no exciting shows in Singapore at the time", says Ms Dany Inthaxoum.

While it has staged shows featuring South-east Asian acts, the majority of acts it brings in are French to target the large French expatriate population here.

But eight years on, the success of shows like Tinariwen's, which drew an equal mix of locals and expatriates, is still surprising to Ms Inthaxoum.

"Tinariwen are international, but still niche because it's world music... So, we were very surprised that more than 1,000 people came to the show at the Esplanade," she says.

 
 
 

That said, the numbers game is not the main goal for the group. "We don't have the objective of doing a show that brings 1,000 people every time. We just want to do a show that brings good music to Singapore," she says.

Next up in its line-up is French-Cuban duo Ibeyi, made up of twin sisters Lisa-Kainde and Naomi Diaz, who sing in English, French and the Nigerian language, Yoruba.

The duo, who also featured in the short film that accompanied Beyonce's 2016 album Lemonade, will play here on April 20, at a venue that is yet to be announced.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 07, 2019, with the headline 'Eclectic music rarely heard in Singapore'. Print Edition | Subscribe