The inaugural Music in Exile fellow is Burkinabe rapper and producer Serge Martin Bambara aka Smockey.
An icon of democracy in Burkina Faso, Smockey is an artist, music producer and political activist who fuses hip-hop with traditional local sounds and satire. His acclaimed Studio Abazon was fire-bombed in late 2015. The attack was an apparent attempt on his life as revenge for the role his music and activism played in the deposition of President Blaise Compaoré.
“Not everyone is lucky enough to have a microphone in front of them, so if you have the chance to talk, you have to say something important” – Smockey