KLAP Ya Handz production company will present an event called Rise Up! this Saturday, April 24, at the Night Market in Phnom Penh, featuring hip-hop musicians, DJs and graffiti artists both Cambodian and foreign.
Sok Cream Visal, the executive producer and founder of the Klap Ya Handz, said the event was aimed at providing entertainment as well as inspiring young Cambodians to invent their own music and art styles.
“Many famous DJs and hip-hop musicians, both Cambodians and foreigners, will get together on Saturday and perform songs in which most of the rhythms and lyrics are their own original compositions,” he said.
“Everybody who will perform at the event has worked separately so far in Cambodia. They have rarely worked together, so Rise Up! will bring them together to help promote our songs and our rhythms,” said Sok Cream Visal. Among the musicians slated to perform are DJ Khlang, DJ Kdeb, Adda, Angry Woebot, DJ Illest and DJ Gang.
Visal said that although hip-hop music did not originate in Cambodia, he thinks the music form can develop in the country in harmony with traditional culture.
“Local performers take the rhythms of hip-hop music and mix them with Cambodian musical styles, and this will help inspire young people to start composing their own music and songs in the local style rather than eliminating Cambodian culture,” he said.
“The style of dancing is actually hip-hop, but the rhythms are definitely Cambodian. The local musicians insert some melodies from Cambodian songs from the 1960s into their music,” said Visal.
Besides the musical performances, three foreign artists will create street art and graffiti near the stage within view of the audience.
Visal said that although graffiti art is popular in Europe and the US, it has not yet caught on in Cambodia.
“Rise Up! is helping to bring this kind of art to Cambodia. We want young people in Cambodia to see it because we think the strange and colourful paintings will give them new ideas about art and creativity,” he said.
Rise Up! will also provide audience members with the opportunity to take part in a free-rap competition. Anyone is welcome to sign up at the Night Market from 5pm to 6pm on the day of the event.
Rise Up! will be held from 3pm to 12 midnight on April 24 at the Phnom Penh Night Market on Sisowath Quay.