A Universal Language

Audio mixers and machines do not dilute the creativity of a musician - rather these help enhance the emotion of their music. The Parisian duo of Benedetta Bertella and Romain Hemono, who make up the band called Camion Bazar, have never once doubted the appeal of EDM (electronic dance music).

Camion in French translates to truck and Camion Bazar is popular on their home turf, travelling around the country  - and beyond - playing its unique style of music and wowing EDM fans. Over the years, they have travelled far and wide with their music which is inspired by sounds from all over the world.

The two musicians were here in Oman to perform at an event held to mark World Music Day - Fête de la Musique in French - that is observed annually on June 21. The first celebration of the day - on the day of the summer solstice - was held in Paris in 1982. World Music Day is now celebrated in 120 countries around the world. On the day, citizens of a city or country are allowed and urged to play music outside in their neighbourhoods or in public spaces and parks. Free concerts are also organised where musicians play for free.

The celebration held in Muscat spearheaded by the French Embassy saw a packed house of over 300 music enthusiasts. Benedetta and Hemono hooked the audience with a mesmerising mix of disco and funk and live drums at the recently opened W Hotel on June 18.

According to Hemono, the two don’t believe that music should be controlled by one specific style or ideology, and machines add value of its emotional factor. “That is why we are into electronic, funk, house music and disco. But we also play other genres like jazz and country.

One must understand that jazz is the base for every genre. We love and celebrate jazz. We played jazz when we started our careers and we enjoyed it every time. But over time, we turned to DJing and electronic music which became the mainstay of our repertoire.”

 Benedetta said she firmly believes that music has no language, and so they are happy to collaborate with musicians from around the world. “In fact, we are currently in talks with an African band for a collaboration and fusion project. After all, the emotions of a human being are the same irrespective of culture, nationality or race,” Benedetta said.

“If the lyrics are strong, any song  - no matter what genre or language – people relate to it. Techno music tends to be criticised but we are convinced that any sort of technology or machine that enhances human emotions is welcome. It is wrong to believe that sounds created by

machines kill a song. All that matters is that we don’t overdo it and know when and where to use it.”

Over the years, the two musicians have been indelibly inspired by Pink Floyd, Madonna, Metallica, Supertramp and Bon Jovi. “One of my biggest inspirations has been the song Sheep from Pink Floyd’s album Animals released in 1977. It is true that being Europeans, we are heavily inspired and impressed by music from the US. I love the spirit and energy of the singers from there,” said Hemono.

Camion Bazar’s touring truck is equipped with instruments, including a bass guitar, keyboards and electronic drums. Besides EDM, they also play live music in cities and countryside on their tours.

About their first visit to Oman, Benedetta said, “It has been an enriching experience and we are happy to be introduced to Arabic music as well.”

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