The 2017 edition of Splashy Fen is set to rock Underberg and go down as the best Splashy Fen yet. It will also introduce festival goers to new sounds with a number of first time performers. One such performer is Blessing Tangban. The Nigerian Afro-Folk singer, songwriter and guitarist will be performing in South Africa for the very first time.
“Apart from it being my first time at Splashy, it will also be my first time in South Africa. I am super excited, this is so far the biggest festival stage I have ever been given an opportunity to participate in and I think it's such a blessing. I'm very thankful, very excited and i'm looking forward to it”, Tangban said.
Born and raised in Cross River State, Tangban said that although she has always loved music, it wasn't until she moved to the USA where she started dabbling in it. “I have always loved music but I didn't start writing and performing it till I was 17, while I was in college in America. I'm a self taught guitarist and I write and compose all my songs as well. I moved back to Nigeria when i turned 21, and took it next level by releasing an EP, titled Nowhere Girl, as well as making an album. I've been performing all over the world since then”, she said.
She said that growing up she was always influenced by pioneers in the music industry like old school legends such as Janis Ian, The Cranberries, and also new school artists like Dido, John Mayer, and Fally Ipupa.
“I make Afro folk music, folk because all my songs tell a story; my sound is a perfect blend of raw, pure, introspective, and emotionally stirring Afro- folk melodies fused with lyrics that are witty, sometimes intellectual and very vulnerable”, she said.
The singer and songwriter said she draws inspiration from everyday life experiences. “For my writing, I draw my inspiration from my life experiences, the highs, and the lows, I believe I can only best tell a story I participated in. For my performances, I'm inspired by artists that perform live because of their ability to engage the audience like how John Mayer does it”, Tangban said.
Tangban said she was attracted to Splashy because of what it stands for, “Ease, simplicity, accessibility, and positivity in the way it projects art”.
“I researched about it on the internet before deciding to apply for a slot this year. I learned that it's one of the oldest music festivals in South Africa. From the videos I watched, I found that it's very inclusive because it creates room for different styles of music as well as various forms of art, to be showcased this way, the festival goer is exposed to both what they're used to and to new music and activities”, she said.
She said she was looking forward to seeing the reactions of Splashy Fen goers as they listen to her music for the first time and the yoga classes that will be taught at the Treehouse Stage where she will also be performing.
Tangban said that festival goers can expect music that is unique, out of the box, engaging and a pure expression of heartfelt music.