Moonshine shines on every stage
The Moonshine collective will be busy this summer, as it participates in a few festivals in addition to continuing to hold its traditional after party every first Saturday following full moon. Get ready: the party starts tomorrow at Mural Festival.
Moonshine is a collective of artists from all walks of life that has become over time a large community based around music and partying. It aims to “celebrate art, the diaspora and African music, and above all, love”, describes to Metro the singer-songwriter Pierre Kwenders, who co-founded the collective with Hervé “Coltan” Kalongo .
Origin of Moonshine
If Moonshine, which celebrates its ninth anniversary this year, has developed in different branches, at the base, the collective became known for organizing after parties in Montreal. Every Saturday after the full moon, a dance event is held somewhere in town. The address of the place is only sent the same day by text message, hence the emblematic phrase of the collective “SMS for location”.
“It came from a need we had growing up,” says the Congo-born musician who has lived in Montreal since he was 16. With my friends, we often found ourselves going out in places where we did not recognize each other. We couldn't hear the music playing at home, which makes us dance, which makes us live. »
He continues: “We ended up meeting regularly, a little unconsciously, around the full moon in a friend’s loft, having parties in his kitchen. It was word of mouth, friends inviting friends over and at one point the kitchen felt a little too small. We took it elsewhere, see what it would give. From there was born Moonshine”.
What to expect?
What does it look like so a moonshine party? “You have to live it, answers Pierre Kwenders. I like to say that love never sleeps on the dancefloor. We feel it at Moonshine, this love shared between the people who meet there, who are there to experience a moment of joy together. »
Different DJs, beatmakers, visual artists and musicians are invited for each event. We mainly hear music from Africa and its diaspora, such as Congolese rumba, coupé coupé, kuduro, batida, afrohouse, afrobeat, techno and more. < /p>
“We like to make people travel, to give them an incredible experience through music”, sums up Pierre Kwenders, who himself regularly acts as a DJ during these evenings.
A growing community
Moonshine has taken a lot of expansion since its inception. This year, the collective is invited to the Mural Festival, the Jazz Festival, the Solstice festival in Beauce and the Festival du Bout du monde in Gaspésie. It also presents its events outside the country, often in Europe.
That's not all. The collective also manages a label under which it has released several compilations featuring artists from here and elsewhere.
Last year, it also launched Club Sagacité, a a place of community life for research and artistic dissemination that aims to support creators from visible minorities and disadvantaged backgrounds by offering them various resources and equipment. “We want the next generations to have opportunities to develop,” says the co-founder.
A large community has been born around Moonshine. Pierre Kwenders, without wanting to take all the credit, believes that the collective has helped democratize African music – especially Afrobeat – in Montreal's nightlife.
“A lot of young Afro-descendant DJs are more and more in the forefront, which we didn't see 10 years ago,” he says.
The Moonshine Mural Block Party will be held on June 10 from 5pm to 10pm on the Mile End Stage of the Mural Festival.